I was very happy to hear of the support the AFL will provide Essendon and affected clubs.
Our sympathies are with the players. They are but mere pawns in this drama. None of them would knowingly inject suspect substances. There can be no doubt about this. Should they be penalised for unknowingly injecting the same substances?
Unfortunately, the rules and law is clear, if not harsh, on this issue. Yes, they are responsible for everything that goes into their bodies, with or without their knowledge.
The need for such a “harsh” regime is obvious. If the rules did not apply high standards on athletes then an obvious loophole will develop.
Ignorance is no excuse.
But surely when the supplement regime has the approval of the coaches and management and it is administered (largely) on club premises, it would be difficult to fault the players?
Lady Justice is blindfolded, and she carries a sword for a reason. I would have liked to see more scales/balance and less sword/punishment in these circumstances.
The important question is “Is the anti drugs message now clear to players and administration alike?” Will we ever have a repeat of this situation?
I am not confident that the message is understood. We still have a number of commentators objecting to what has occurred. Don’t they get it?