Sport Eddie McGuire fears interchange cap could tempt AFL players to take banned drugs

06:21  07 december  2017
06:21  07 december  2017 Source:

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Eddie McGuire is worried that interchange restrictions will force players into taking performance enhancing drugs . Speaking on The Hot Breakfast this morning, Ed said he initially raised these concerns when the cap was introduced and that the situation hasn’t changed.

Collingwood Pies president and media personality Eddie McGuire believes any more strict restrictions on the interchange rules in the AFL will lead players to consider extreme measures, such as taking performance-enhancing drugs .

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire© AAP Collingwood president Eddie McGuire

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire fears that restrictions to interchange rotations could drive AFL players to use performance-enhancing drugs in an effort to keep up with the game.

The league first introduced a cap of 120 rotations in 2014 and cut that figure to 90 in 2016. Talk of further reductions to the cap in the future has McGuire concerned.

McGuire believes some players could feel compelled to take prohibited drugs such as EPO to keep up with the ever-increasing demands put on their bodies.

EPO, or erythropoietin, is a peptide banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which stimulates red blood cell production.

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Eddie McGuire 's AFL drug fear . Eddie McGuire Is Worried The Interchange Cap Could Drive Players To Use Performance Enhancing Drugs .

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It garnered worldwide attention as a result of the blood doping scandal that engulfed professional cycling and cost Lance Armstrong his seven Tour de France titles.

"I think the AFL have got to be careful," McGuire told Triple M on Thursday.

"When the AFL brought in the limitations on the interchange, the first thing I said at the presidents' meeting was, 'you're going to drive people into looking at taking EPO'.

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COLLINGWOOD president Eddie McGuire has urged the AFL to tread carefully when considering whether it reduces interchange rotations further, believing it could drive players to take performance-enhancing drugs to meet the demands of the game.

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"Now of course when I said that everyone went nuts, but it seems night follows day, so that was always a big issue. I don't think it's happened but I still think you've got to be careful when you're driving athletes into a position where they have to think about, 'how can I get fitter when there's nowhere else to go?'

"When you've slept in an oxygen tent, when you're not drinking, when your skinfolds are down and you're still gasping for air and your tongue's hanging out at the 10-minute mark of the last quarter and the coach is saying, 'get on and run', they're the things you look at and say, 'gee, we've got to be careful'.

"Keep our game as natural as possible and then you mitigate the circumstances as much as you possibly can.

"We're in a position with footy (where) we don't need to play in the international level, so we can be as hard as we want to on our drugs in footy and I think the AFL are doing a pretty good job but I'd toughen up even further."

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