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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 March 2005, 19:13 GMT
League does not have drugs problem

Kevin Sinfield
Leeds Rhinos captain

I don't want to get too involved with Ryan Hudson's individual case, but obviously drugs are the big talking point in the game at the moment.

To be completely honest, I don't think the drugs issue is a big problem in rugby league.

In fact, compared to some other sports that try to sweep everything under the carpet, rugby league does very well at rooting out the wrong-doers.

Over the sport as a whole there are going to be a few minor cases, but I think the fact that the RFL are honest about it and punish people is great for the sport.

The drug testers do a fantastic job and are a regular part of day-to-day life in the game nowadays.

Personally, I've only been tested once this year, but you can quite easily get done anything from three to eight times a year - it's just the luck of the draw.

Having said all that, more work needs to be done in terms of providing education and information for the players.

You have people at your club you can go to for advice, but in the real world when you're in the chemist looking for something for a bit of flu, you need to check every ingredient on a website.

It can be really difficult for players.

When push comes to shove, it comes down to the player. It's his responsibility to check what he puts into his body.

It's part and parcel of being a professional athlete - if you're not sure, don't take it.

As a player you have a responsibility to turn up to training on time, to look after your body, put the right fuel in it and so on.

But we are rugby league players, not scientists, so all the help the clubs and the RFL can offer is vital.

Different dimension

On a happier note, we're very pleased with the start we've made at Leeds.

But as a group we're all about improving every week.

If you look at our squad, it's very strong. We've got 27 players who can come in and do a job at a top Super League standard. We just have great personnel to call on.

Leeds star Rob Burrow
Burrow has been in scintillating form so far this season
One player that has certainly "done a job" is Rob Burrow.

Filling Danny McGuire's shoes is easier said than done, but Rob has come in and added a different dimension.

I can't praise him highly enough. He's attacked the line at every opportunity and his organisational skills are just awesome.

In the past he's been looked on as an impact player, but the way he's playing at the moment is proving everybody wrong.

Not just that, Rob is producing rugby week-in, week-out that is deserving of a Great Britain call-up.

And I for one would be delighted if he gets the call at the end of the season.

Away from rugby, I - along with several of my Rhinos team-mates - am still working hard on my degree in Sports Science.

I'm starting my second year at Leeds Metropolitan University now and it's a really enjoyable and demanding course.

It keeps the old brain ticking over.

Talking of that, I'd better be getting on with my homework!



SEE ALSO
Hudson appeals against suspension
10 Mar 05 |  Rugby League
Hudson is suspended for two years
09 Mar 05 |  Rugby League


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