20 Mar 2014

NRL doesn't have presciption drug problem says chief medical officer

7:38 am on 20 March 2014

The National Rugby League's chief medical officer doesn't believe the game has a problem with players abusing prescriptions drugs.

Yesterday the NRL announced it would be testing for two classes of prescription drugs this year.

New Zealand players were linked with the practice of mixing sleeping pills with alcohol and energy drinks at last year's world cup, with Warriors club doctor John Mayhew also claiming the practice was widespread in the NRL.

But the NRL's chief medical officer Dr Ron Muratore says his research indicates that's not the case.

He says while some players will experiment to get their thrills, he believes the vast majority don't.

He pointed to evidence collected by Australia Sports Anti-Doping Authority surveys over the last 18 months, when players were asked if they had recently taken a sleeping pill.

Of 560 players surveyed before being tested for banned drugs only five said they had taken a sleeping pill.