Drugs stance helps WAFL players
Drugs stance helps WAFL players

Swan Districts premiership player Travis Casserly says he is confident the WAFL's tough drugs stance will prevent young players from repeating his mistake and unnecessarily serving a two-year ban from football.

The 26-year-old was suspended after testing positive for the restricted substance pseudo-ephedrine following the club's 2010 grand final triumph.

Casserly denied he was a drug cheat at the time, saying he had only taken two Sudafed tablets on game day to treat an existing hay fever condition.

Now with the ban behind him, the defender said the drug testing rules were sufficiently widespread so that no player would be unaware of use exemptions like he was four years ago.

"The WAFL have really drilled it into the league," Casserly said.

"Obviously we want to keep a high standard of players in the league and we want the awareness to get out there.

"We want the league to be pretty clean. I think they're doing their bit to stamp it all out.

"With the talks they do pre- season, it's just letting all the players know what you can and can't do really. It's a pretty good thing.

"It's starting right from colts level. It's been going on for a number of years, but if players couldn't make the session it could slip through a bit.

"Now they're making you do the online testing as well. If you don't do it, you can't play league footy and you can't play footy for your WAFL club.

"It's giving every player the right amount of information."

Casserly said he was frustrating at being rubbed out for something he believed wasn't wrong at the time.

"It's not that I was embarrassed about it," he said.

"A lot of the feedback I was getting from the outside, whether that be the footy world or just the general public, everyone said I was hard done by, but really I'd done the wrong thing in the code's eyes.

"The first year was a definite struggle. But me and my missus, Sam, bought a house towards the end of my first year of being banned and then in the second year we had a little boy on the way.

"It wasn't really a waste of two years in the end."

The frustration didn't end with the suspension, Casserly breaking a leg in the second game of his comeback last year.

He will run out for Swans' season opener against East Perth at Medibank Stadium today.

The West Australian

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