Sport NRL 2020: Brad Fittler lifts the lid on NRL drug education systems

07:30  31 may  2020
07:30  31 may  2020 Source:   sportingnews.com

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New South Wales coach Brad Fittler has lifted the lid on the NRL's drug education procedures in the wake of Sharks youngster Bronson Xerri's failed test.

Xerri faces an uncertain future in the game after returning a positive test stemming from November last year.

The 19-year-old tested positive for exogenous Testosterone, Androsterone, Etiocholanolone and 5b-androstane-3a,17b-diol.

The lightning quick centre will wait for the results of his b-sample before learning what punishment he will face. 

Speaking on The Sunday Footy Show, Fittler lifted the lid on the NRL's drug education procedures, saying they may not be as effective as hoped.

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"I was talking to someone at a club and they said sometimes these things are just done to tick off a box.

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"I got told they just get people over who aren't very recognisable, who go through a process and protocol of 'this is what happens when you take steroids, this is what happens with your phone,' and everyone just sits there.

"They'll come in at the start of the year instead of coming in every three or four weeks.

"Because footballers, unless you're smacking them in the head with it every couple of weeks, they just don't get it through their thick skulls - and I'm one of them.

"I'm speaking as one who's been part of that."

The Blues coach said the game could utilise Xerri to educate other players in the future.

"I just feel like using someone like Bronson is a great way to put it back through the system and go 'here's what can happen to your life,'" he said.

Fittler added that social media puts a mountain of extra pressure on young players as well.

"Bronson Xerri is on social media, they've all got their profiles on social media," he said.

"His profile is much bigger than what mine was in 1989.

"They don't need to have these profiles, but something in their ego tells them they need to be part of that life and that's one of the biggest problems.

"They have these other fake lives on this screen and that plays such a bearing on their mindset.

"That's one thing a lot of young kids need to take control of. It's not real, the people on there aren't real and life will become a lot more simpler."

If you or anyone you know is suffering, call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyondblue on 1300 22 4636, or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

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