20 Mar 2014

Rugby Players Association against presription drugs testing

11:52 am on 20 March 2014

The New Zealand Professional Rugby Players Association is opposing compulsory testing of players for prescription drugs.

Radio New Zealand has revealed that All Blacks were involved in the mixing of sleeping pills and energy drinks during the World Cup and since.

The New Zealand Rugby League is to follow the NRL's lead and implement a testing procedure for prescription drugs to curb the practice of mixing sleeping pills with energy drinks or alcohol to produce an amphetamine high.

But the executive director of the Rugby Players Assiciation Rob Nichol, , believes there have only been isolated cases in rugby and there isn't a widespread problem.

He says two years ago the players were asked if there was an issue with prescription medications...and while there was no sign of sleeping pill abuse, the players were concerned about the attitude towards prescription medications.

Nichol says some players have tried the cocktail of drugs and drink, realised the problems involved and stopped.

He doesn't think a drugs testing policy is needed straight away, instead he'd prefer an approach of education and awareness.

Sleeping pills are not prohibited under World Anti-Doping Agency rules and the practice of mixing them with alcohol or energy drinks isn't illegal.