The Australian Football League "has proposed an overhaul of the Laws of the Games Committee," with the league's new football operations Manager Mark Evans "having detected club disenchantment with the rules process," according to Caroline Wilson of THE AGE. Club CEOs departed Thursday's CEOs meeting with the impression that "the influence of the contentious group could be diminished, and at the very least will undergo a facelift." Evans "has now visited more than half of the 18 clubs and found that in most cases coaches and football department chiefs have become increasingly disillusioned with the matter in which rules have been changed or re-interpreted." Evans told the clubs that "he was looking to bolster the committee with additional and more recently retired players" (THE AGE, 5/17). In Sydney, Jesse Hogan reported the AFL Players' Association "has made concessions in its voluntary illicit-drug test agreement with the AFL as a result of the proportion of failed tests more than tripling last year." Previously "only the club doctor was informed of a player's identity in a positive test but now club chiefs will be told if the player fails to reform" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 5/17). BLOOMBERG's Dan Baynes reported the failed tests "were out of competition, with all but one related to stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine." The 26 positives "were detected in 1,979 tests in 2012, compared with six from 1,489 tests the previous year." The names of players who tested positive "weren't released by the AFL" (BLOOMBERG, 5/16). In Sydney, Greg Denham reported Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton Thursday night "reiterated his view illegal drugs, rather than performance-enhancing drugs, had the greater potential to compromise the integrity of individual players and, potentially, matches." Ashton said, "Victoria Police has consistently stated that illicit drug use and race/match-fixing threats are the big issues in sport integrity" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 5/17).
NRL: Also in Sydney, Brent Read reported the National Rugby League "has shouted long and loud about plans to review its drug testing regime." However, the AFL "showed the NRL that actions speak infinitely louder than words." Privately, the NRL "was surely doing cartwheels." Yet publicly, "it continues to hide its results behind a veil of secrecy." The NRL "talks about doing everything it can to catch the cheats, just don't ask for proof." You "won't get it" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 5/17). In Sydney, Adrian Proszenko reported the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority "has called off interviews with NRL coaches and support staff, believing they will get just as little co-operation from them as from their players." The agency "will now have to complete its investigations without the testimonies of players and staff members of interest, in a blow to their chances of obtaining enough evidence to warrant the issue of infraction notices" (SMH, 5/17).