Do performance enhancing drugs exist in local football?

Jackson Clark

TWITTER – @JClark182

You would have to have been living under a rock the size of Uluru to not be aware of the saga that engulfed both the AFL and the Essendon Football Club last year.

I talk of course of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and the performance enhancing drugs controversy that cost the Bombers a spot in the finals.

And although it is largely shunned by the general sports following population, it is understandable the reasons why a professional athlete may wish to pursue an illegal advantage over their competition.

But it had me wondering, are performance enhancing drugs also prevalent in local and country football across Australia?

The simple fact of the matter is that money often rules country and suburban football, with players being paid more than ever.

Some even consider it their full time job and choose not to work.

Naturally, the better the player the more money he is likely to be paid.

So the incentive to gain an illegal advantage in the form of performance enhancing drugs is certainly there.

When you take this and consider the rise in popularity for body building and also the clichéd festival-junkies that love hitting the gym, access to performance enhancers is easier than ever.

It is unlikely that the Essendon saga, or other high-profile performance enhancing drug cases, would do much to deter players from taking them.

Country players know that they are highly unlikely to be tested by ASADA for a number of reasons.

Each test is highly expensive and it would be a hassle for ASADA representatives to get to a lot of country football venues.

Would the lure of making more money through country football tempt local level footballers into taking prohibited substances?

About Jackson Clark

Born and bred in Darwin, Northern Territory, I am a young, aspiring football writer that lives and breathes the game of Australian Football. I'm also a keen player and coach.


  1. I heard whispers about drugs when I played country and suburban footy, but not they type that would enhance performances.
    One country club I played for had a constitution that banned anyone with a criminal record. Of course, that only applied to the reserves. A young bloke was banned for a brain fade that involved vehicle theft.
    A top-notch player, a few weeks after being released from a short stint in prison for dealing pot, was welcomed back to the club and played in a premiership later that year.
    Didn’t seem fair, didn’t seem right. No one said a word.

  2. Sudafed use was widespread 25 years ago – the pseudoephedrine effect.

  3. Earl O'Neill says

    Doubtful that the extract of calves’ blood has made it to the Murray Valley League but I wouldn’t be surprised by players doing a quick dash of short-term uplift.

    Surprised by the use of Sudafed, crio, it has a downer effect as well as the upper.

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