Sitting peacefully atop the NRL management pyramid, connected to his apprentice, Padawan learner CEOs with a mixture of dotted and solid reporting lines, the ‘real’ CEO David Smith today unveiled a step-up in the war on Persians.
No, not the Iranian variety. Just good old-fashioned performance enhancing drugs … which is a good thing.
Gone are the days of unexplained steroid-induced acne outbreaks that would totally give you up faster than a petty street urchin on Starsky & Hutch. No, today’s versions are of the far more sophisticated, nudge-nudge-wink-wink variety, and harder to detect than a sense of humour on Darius Boyd.
The NRL has been driven to this decision by the barrel of laughs that is the ASADA investigation, so you can perhaps call it both reactive and proactive at the same time, depending on which side of the marketing and commentariat divide you sit.
In the NRL, an anti-doping probe could have an infinite amount of permutations, but the thrust of the latest announcement, which is actually related to drugs, includes:
– Introducing ABPs, or Athlete Biological Passports – these are designed to record the changes in your blood over time, and detect the past use of performance-enhancers. They are not intended as paternity tests for young players, as far as I can tell. It will also assist in the ingress and egress of players into and out of the Shire, as well as honorary membership and instant entry to Northies.
– Increased testing for cologne, in which case, it occurs to me, Robbie Farah and Beau Ryan are in serious trouble. Or maybe it’s simply testing for peptides and sending the results to Cologne. Either way, it spells trouble for peptide-users and wearers of excessive cologne.
Pep talks at half-time will now also be supervised.
– Sending test samples for human growth hormone to London, because, like cologne and peptides, sending them anywhere other than somewhere in Australia seems like a good idea. It’s also the business plan Ford seems to be adopting. Clearly, we Aussies are more likely to drop all the vials of claret like Maxwell Smart on a roid rage, and therefore cannot be trusted.
– Eliminating all referees immediately ( I could have made that up, but they are highly unlikely to pass an anti-doping test, I’m sure you’d agree)
– Restricting the influence of those within the game that believe golden point is a good idea, that scrums really are the time-clock’s problem, or that Dave Taylor really needed his charge doengraded.
The new measures have been cheered by most organisations with an ‘R’, including the NRL, NRL Clubs, RLPA, RSL and RSPCA, not to mention A(R)SADA who have RSVP’d their approval.
In other breaking NRL news, Nick Weeks has been appointed NRL General Manager of Integrity and General Counsel and Winner of Longest Title in the NRL, and Mr Julian O’Neill has been appointed Head of Atrocities.