Dal Santo backs more hair tests in AFL

North Melbourne star Nick Dal Santo has backed a proposal that would increase the scope of hair testing for illicit drugs in the AFL.

But the Kangaroos midfielder also stresses that he wants the upcoming review of the league’s illicit drugs policy to focus on helping players and preserving their privacy.

Hawthorn veteran Sam Mitchell has reportedly proposed that all senior players undergo hair tests four times a year.

The AFL has flagged reviews of its performance-enhancing drugs code and also the separate illicit drugs policy.

While the performance-enhancing code is mandatory, the controversial “three-strikes” illicit drugs policy is voluntary and needs the ongoing support of the players association.

“Me, personally, it wouldn’t bother me at all,” Dal Santo said of more hair tests.

“I still believe in privacy, though, and I still believe in helping guys.

“So if that’s the model and that’s the system we want to go (with), then I’m happy to support it.”

A spate of positive tests and the Essendon supplements saga have prompted the league to flag a review of the performance-enhancing drugs policy.

But there are growing worries in the game that the three-strikes system is out of date.

“In regards to the social drugs, something is happening within the game,” Dal Santo said.

“I’m not fully across it and probably don’t understand it enough to make big comments.

“But I just feel with recent things that have happened, it’s a really good opportunity for us to have a look at it.”

“I’m not saying the system hasn’t been great, but I actually believe in helping blokes and the rehab side of it.

“I also believe in not necessarily exposing blokes.”

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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