National Rugby League Says Sanctions Possible For Prescription Drug Abusers
National Rugby League players "abusing prescription drugs could be sanctioned from next" season after the NRL "reached agreement with the Rugby League Players Association on testing protocols," according to Adrian Proszenko of the CANBERRA TIMES. The move follows concerns that New Zealand's World Cup campaign was "marred by players mixing Stilnox and Red Bull, a matter still being investigated by authorities." There are "fears those practices are becoming widespread." Players will "now be tested for benzodiazepines -- which include brand names such as Valium, Serepax, Mogadon and Rohypnol -- and zolpidems including Stilnox, Zolsan and Stilnoct" (CANBERRA TIMES, 3/18). In Sydney, Adam Mobbs reported NRL COO Jim Doyle had "advised all club CEO's in February that the testing would take place." Doyle: "During the 2014 season, we will conduct testing for data gathering purposes only. We want to find if we do have a problem with prescription drugs in rugby league because, at present, there is only anecdotal evidence" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 3/19).