Former Great Britain, Wigan and now Wakefield hooker Terry Newton has been banned by the Rugby Football League after testing positive to a banned substance.
At this stage there is no word on what the substance was or even if it was performance enhancing or just some other illegal drug, however going by recent bans Newton can expect a 2 year suspension from playing at all levels of the game, a move that would effectively end his career.
The Media love to jump on stories like this and sensationalize them, but the fact is that every Rugby League fan should be over the moon when a player gets cause using drugs.
We don’t need these people in our game.
It was not so long ago that drug testing in the UK was very poorly handled. The problem of drug use in the game was not taken seriously.
It is getting better, but I’d like to see much more testing of players done, in and out of competition.
The Rugby Football League released a press statement with a few figures on their drug testing programs I found interesting:
Since 2005 a total of 1,922 tests have taken place at all levels of the game.
According to UK Sport figures Rugby League players were tested 508 times for prohibited substances from April 1 2008 to March 31 2009. This is the third highest of all UK major sports behind football and athletics.
Approximately 628 tests were expected to have been taken from April 1 2009 to March 31 2010 and for the year 2010-2011 the RFL have requested 650 tests from UKAD.
As you can see the number of tests being done is rising at a pretty decent rate.
I have always said that Rugby League should lead the way when ever possible and I think drug testing players is probably one of the easiest areas to lead other sports.
When you look at the disgraceful way Rugby Union has handled some of their recent high profile drug problems, its night and day compared to how Rugby League handles things.
So Newtons career is basically done and dusted, testing positive to drugs.
One thing I do know for certain, he didn’t test positive for brains.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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