Global drugs policy demanded by players' unions
Tuesday 05 March 2013
New global guidelines surrounding drug testing are set to be issued to player unions across the world in the wake of the Tom Maynard inquest.
Speaking to The Independent, Tim May, head of the Federation of International Cricketers' Association (Fica), warned that the inquest's findings had highlighted the need for a coherent global policy surrounding the use of recreational drugs.
He revealed that his organisation would be issuing its recommendations to all its members by the end of this month and admitted that last week's findings about the death of Maynard had added greater urgency to the process.
"The issue for us is to determine whether the use of recreational drugs is a genuine problem," he said. "The Maynard tragedy has raised the urgency of player associations and boards getting a grip on the extent to which this is a problem in our cricketing environment.
"We would be pretty naïve to think that high net-worth individuals – because cricketers are certainly earning considerably more than they were in the past – aren't going to be influenced by the society they're living in.
"If it is a problem, or even to protect it from becoming a problem, we need to work out what we can do to minimise the chance of players experimenting or becoming addicted to these social drugs.
"Cricket Australia have an illicit drugs policy and the PCA and ECB will soon be following them.
"We'll be presenting a document to our player associations by the end of this month or in early April and will be recommending a whole range of measures that should be put in place across the whole gambit of player welfare. We should be doing everything we can to make sure that tragic incidents like Tom's are minimised from our game."
These recommendations are likely to include a call for a unified drug policy throughout world cricket – a measure that May believes is essential in an era dominated by global Twenty20 tournaments.
"Cricket is becoming far more universal, players are playing for multiple different employers rather than just the one employer," said May.
"Unfortunately it often takes a tragedy for something to be done – we're a little bit too reactive at times. But if we can get some form of uniformity of approach across the cricket world around this issue that will be a massive step in the right direction."
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