Clubs must be vigilant on drugs, says Brayshaw

NORTH Melbourne president James Brayshaw says all AFL clubs and officials must be vigilant in the fight against drugs in sport.

The new Port Fairy Football Netball Club number one ticket-holder said passing blame wasn’t in anyone’s best interests.

Performance enhancing drugs, illicit drugs and match-fixing in Australian sporting codes were raised in an Australian Crime Commission report released earlier this month.

“I think we’d all be naive if we didn’t think there were concerns to address,” Brayshaw said.

“What I don’t like seeing is blame being handed on or people throwing their hands in the air and saying ‘oh great it’s not us’.

“That’s not helping. We know there is an issue we all have to get our heads around and be really vigilant to make sure we stamp it out.

“We have a summit coming up I think early next month and I am really looking forward to hearing from experts as to the best way we can tackle some really serious issues.

“We’ve all got to be really strong for the betterment of everyone involved in the game.

“It’s going to be an interesting month or so but I hope at the end of it we get some really clear steps going forward.”

Brayshaw said everyone involved with the sport was counting down to round one.

Adelaide and Essendon launch the AFL season on March 22.

“The best thing that can happen is the game starts because then everyone focuses on the week-to-week agony or ecstasy of winning and losing, which is really the great thing about footy,” Brayshaw said.

Brayshaw said he was quietly confident about the Kanagroos’ 2013 prospects, with the club re-signing coach Brad Scott for a further three seasons last week.

“Brad speaks beautifully for our footy club and I leave the football discussion to him because that is his area of expertise,” he said .

“I am more concerned about reducing debt and making a profit and a sustainable future.

“In that sense last year was a terrific year. We broke membership records and wiped more than a million bucks off debt.

“We had a terrific 2012 and now we have to do it again. The thing about footy is you never get any acknowledgement for what’s happened.

“As soon as the new year starts you are all back to zero and you start again. 

“We are no different to Port Fairy in that sense, the season hasn’t started and we are no further ahead or further behind than anyone else and we have a lot of work to do.”

justine.mc@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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