Hair testing for illicit drugs conducted on Collingwood Magpies players over the summer have led to claims that 11 players tested positive, claims that Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has denied.
The hair testing regimen does not reveal the identity of the players who tested positive. The testing is voluntary and the only consequence for the moment is that players who test positive for illicit drugs will be under closer scrutiny.
Of the 18 teams in the league, 14 had every player tested and the remaining four tested about 75 percent of their list.
McGuire, the Collingwood football club and the AFL claim the figures are inaccurate. The number came from a report in the Sydney Herald Sun. McGuire went on to say that whether or not the number was accurate, there are plans to address the issue.
A positive result in the voluntary hair testing program does not result in a black mark against a player under the rules of the AFL-AFLPA illicit drugs policy. Individual clubs have no say in the matter at present and the results of the testing are between the AFL and the Players’ Association.
Hair testing is considered better able to detect drugs long after urine and blood tests are no longer accurate due to length of time.