Join Date: May 2001
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow
AFL stars on drugs
ECSTASY, speed and marijuana are frequently used by AFL footballers, according to retired Sydney Swan Dale Lewis.
Lewis said he was aware of former teammates and high-profile opponents who ran the gauntlet of the league's drug-testing procedures.
And he understood there to be a "medical underground" that enabled players to use undetectable masking agents to beat the drug testers.
Lewis's revelations yesterday will rock the AFL which will soon release a report that it carried out 600 drug tests in 2002 for no positive results.
He said he knew of former Sydney teammates who were "s....... themselves" when ASDA staff arrived at the Swans.
The former Swans utility said high-profile players were often tested, leaving the lesser names, in a sense, to run the risk.
"They were thinking, 'they won't pick me, I'm too much of a small fish to worry about.' But I know of guys who panicked. You don't hear about it at the time, but later on . . . they were s....... themselves," Lewis said. Lewis, who retired last season after 182 games, said speed and ecstasy pills were commonly available in bars and nightclubs.
"If you ask each player on list at a league club, a minority (would say) they haven't done drugs of any description at all," Lewis said.
"Out of 40 guys, if there wasn't 75 per cent who haven't done some sort of recreational drug, I'd (give it away)."
Most disturbing to the AFL would be Lewis's assertion that drug users are beating the testing procedure carried out by the Australian Sports Drug Agency by underworld drug education.
"There's an inner sanctum happening," Lewis said. "There'd have to be because if you were going to be a habitual user or do anything with drugs, it would be in your best interests to know certain things about the length of time it's in your system and ways of getting around it."
Lewis said star footballers were often caught up in an environment of high society – surrounded by "beautiful people" – which led them to believe their standing in life was above the average person.
"Beautiful people take drugs and our guys say: 'Hang on, I want to be a beautiful person, I'm a footy star,' and all of a sudden they get caught up with what they're doing," Lewis said.
Lewis is adamant more drug education is needed. He spoke out yesterday so young players might learn before it's too late.
"They're on $300,000 and for the sake of dropping one tablet, it could be the end of you," he warned.
You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, 'Parking Fine.'So that was nice.