AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan has blasted calls for zero tolerance on illicit drugs as insane and coming from zealots.
A week after a newspaper report alleged several Collingwood players had returned positive hair tests in the off-season, McLachlan made a spirited defence of the AFL’s illicit drugs code.
The policy was toughened last year from three strikes to two.
But last week’s report predictably sparked furious debate about the worth of the policy and whether the league should be much harder on players who take illicit drugs.
The two-strikes code, agreed to by the players, is separate to the standard anti-doping policy.
“When I see these people, these zealots, talking about zero tolerance, and outing them, I think that’s insane,” McLachlan told 3AW.
“It’s not what the experts say, it’s not what the police say, and it’s not what any parent that I know would do with their child.
“Everyone talks about brand protection and everything else, that’s rubbish.
“It’s the responsible way to deal with a society-wide issue with our playing group.
“It’s managing the welfare and the rights of that individual player.”
McLachlan added AFL executives, himself included, had been drug tested.
“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” he said.