The RFL prides itself on being a clean sport and works hard to maintain its image. It is committed to ensuring that high standards are set for fair play and a drug-free sport while protecting the spirit of the game. It’s doing this by increasing the level of awareness of all anti-doping issues. The RFL want to create a generation of players who have confidence in their ability to succeed in Rugby League without the misuse of prohibited substances or methods, and empower Rugby League clubs to be competent in supporting their players.
100% ME Anti-Doping education
The RFL is committed to the principles of drug-free sport and work with UK Sport and UKAD to regularly educate and inform players through their ‘100% ME’ campaign. It teaches them about the dangers of drugs and the consequences of taking drugs or breaching the Anti-Doping Regulations. The RFL train club staff who can provide player education both formally and informally.
Introduction of NRTP
As part of the RFL’s WADA compliant anti-doping programme 17 players signed up for the National Registered Testing Pool for Rugby League. These players were obliged to provide whereabouts information to UK Anti-Doping, detailing where they are for one hour every day so they can be tested. They’ve been inducted and supported by the RFL to ensure that they are compliant with the system and are able to say with pride that they are amongst the most tested athletes in sport.
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.
Blood testing is common within Rugby League which makes our testing programme even more effective.
Social drug education
The RFL are currently working with potential partners to deliver education to players regarding social drugs and alcohol. The intention is to support these players and help them make the right choices throughout their career to protect their health, well-being and reputation.
Development of the Community Game Well-Being programme
In response to the Community Club Survey, the Operations department has been tasked with developing a variety of Community Game Well-being workshops. The aim is to educate players and coaches within the community game about a variety of aspects related to their well-being and game preparation. These include smoking, drinking and drugs (performance enhancing and social). The information will be delivered in an engaging and Rugby League focused way with the intention of enforcing positive player choices.