Former AFL doctor says it was 'very vare' to inject players with vitamins

The medical officer advising the AFL Players Association claims there should be little need for players to be injected with supplements, and is hopeful "regulatory sanity" is restored across the league over what products are administered to players.

As Essendon maintains that everything its players were injected with last year complied with anti-doping rules, Dr Andrew Daff questioned why players should need to be injected with products such as vitamins and other supplements in the first place.

"One would think if we've got players who are being regulated really well with regards to their (training) loads and their nutrition, that it would be very rare to have someone with a deficiency that would need supplementing," Daff told 3AW on Monday night.

"Sometimes these things are done a little bit (by) blanket (coverage), maybe a bit unnecessary.

"We've all the heard the term 'the most expensive urine', meaning the same components being supplemented are being excreted as urine into the toilet.

"Then again ... at the same time players will, within reason and within informed consent, want to have some degree within control of what they want to do. It comes back to players' health and welfare and anti-doping, they're the big issues."

Daff, also a long-serving medical officer at Melbourne, said during his time with the Demons it was "very rare" to have to inject players with vitamins.

But he there was no need to ban injections completely within AFL circles, as players occasionally needed to be treated intravenously to be administered with antibiotics or in serious cases of dehydration.

Daff hoped the focus on the issue would lead to a culture of strong regulation across the AFL, where everything administered to players was strictly monitored and documented.

"I see the key positive in the happenings of the past week and the revelations is that it will bring some regulatory sanity back to the concept of innovations and cutting-edge technologies," he said.

"I sense the difference between the top clubs is very little and everyone is looking for that edge, and I think of late there's just been a tendency to risk - in some quarters only, and it's probably not widespread - but for that endeavour, possibly well-meaning endeavour, (to be taken) to the limits in regard to players' health and the risk with regards to the anti-doping code."

This story Former AFL doctor says it was 'very vare' to inject players with vitamins first appeared on WA Today.