The NRL says it will introduce testing for prescription drugs and is considering appointing independent doctors at games to assess concussed players.
The NRL says it will begin testing for prescription drugs this season after unanimous support for the proposal from club chief executives.
The move comes after members of New Zealand’s World Cup squad allegedly consumed prescription drugs and energy drinks together while on an alcohol ban during last year’s tournament.
According to a statement the NRL will move to “strengthen the league’s illicit drug testing policy through centralised testing overseen by the Integrity and Compliance Unit” and “work with the Rugby League Players Association to finalise the plans for prescription drug testing for 2014 to obtain accurate data and facilitate early welfare intervention.”
With the 16 NRL bosses meeting in Auckland ahead of the inaugural Nines tournament, the governing body has also indicated it may move to appoint independent doctors at games to assess players for concussion.
“The NRL and clubs are working together to take big steps forward in key areas that are focused on protecting the health and wellbeing of players and considering new measures that will make our game safer,” Brisbane chief executive Paul White said.