Doping in sport is something that needs to be talked about more often.
Recently, former Leigh Centurions prop Jamie Acton was handed a two-year ban, with Rangi Chase being issued with a month ban earlier this week for positive drug tests.
For Acton, though, he has become an outspoken figure in the harsh realities of drug taking within the sport and has talked exclusively to Serious About Rugby League about a ‘deal’ he was recently offered.
“The people at UK Anti-Doping contacted me to ask if they could come to see me,” Acton said.
“They said ‘you’re not in trouble but we want to speak to you about something. We want to make you an offer and ask you about how we can improve testing procedures to better understand why players dope in rugby league’.
The offer, Acton revealed, was staggering: “I was offered a deal which basically meant if I was willing to provide names of other players who then tested positive, they would take away or reduce my ban.
“It’s a completely legitimate policy, it’s not like a secret thing.
“I don’t believe this deal should be available. If you do get banned you’re so emotionally vulnerable in that situation, so to leverage that emotional vulnerability to try and catch other people, is psychologically very damaging for many reasons.
“For the welfare of players I don’t think the policy should be allowed.
“It goes against rugby ethics because you create a rapport with payers and teams and are then asked to turn around and annihilate someone’s life after standing shoulder to shoulder with them on the pitch.
“It’s a bit different for me as I’m already over two years retired from rugby, but for those still in the game, I think this policy is really damaging.”