Players must be accountable: Grant

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Players must be accountable: Grant

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman John Grant agrees with Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett it is time NRL players took responsibility for their actions amid calls to address prescription medicine misuse.

This follows Tuesday’s incident where South Sydney’s Dylan Walker and Aaron Gray were rushed to St Vincent’s Hospital after overdosing on painkillers.

They are expected to make a full recovery from their near-death experience.

Bennett claimed on Thursday it was time to stop blaming the league amid the fallout over the Walker-Gray incident, saying the NRL “did so much” for the game.

The NRL became the first governing body to screen for prescription drugs last July.

Grant said about 1500 tests of the 2000 targeted for this year had been completed, describing it as the “highest density in any code”.

However, he was unsure of the results to date.

“We don’t know. Even though our testing regime is as good as it gets as ASADA tells us,” he said in Brisbane on Thursday.

“I am not privy to the results.

“The majority of the players really understand their bodies so they are not going to be like normal society.

“An optimist could conclude that this is a unique case.”

Grant backed Bennett’s call that it was time to stop blaming the NRL.

“We police the rules, the players’ job is to look after themselves,” he said.

Bennett said he had not seen any misuse at the three NRL clubs he had coached in his top grade career spanning almost 30 years.

“I am a bit over always blaming the game, I can’t tell you how much the game does for everybody,” he said.

“Are we perfect? No, we’re not. But somewhere along the line someone has to take responsibility for their actions and behaviour.

“We have so much governance in our game right now, but it’s always ‘the game’ (to blame) – well I don’t think the game is at fault.

“People in the game who make poor decisions should be accountable.”

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