The AFL's players are resisting a push to log their supplement intake via a mobile phone application on a daily basis, as part of the AFL's crackdown on clubs' use and documentation of supplement products and medical treatments.
The players are willing to help the league impose tighter controls on the use of supplements at their clubs and play a more active part in their own treatment, but believe a daily requirement to lodge their information would be too big an ask.
The AFL wants players to list everything from basic vitamins to more complex supplements through a phone app being developed, under a plan presented to club football managers and the AFL Players Association this week.
The app would feature a list of the products and substances on the league's new ''approved'' list, meaning players could then go back to their doctors and club staff if asked to take something not on the list.
The league is keen to get a sense of emerging trends in supplement use as soon as possible - a desire supported by the players, who also want club doctors to be their first and last port of call when determining what they can take.
The AFLPA's alternative proposal would have players meet club doctors and nutritionists about once a month, to discuss the supplements and treatments they required. Each player's regime would be documented and the list submitted to the AFL and amended throughout the month if required.
The players are reluctant to commit to an overly stringent process simply on the basis of Ahmed Saad's poor decision to take a protein powder containing a banned stimulant, which had him suspended under anti-doping rules, and the situation that unfolded at Essendon in 2012.
However, they are happy for their club doctor to have greater authority, for their nutritionists to play a more active part and for the players to take greater ownership of the substances they are consuming, given that adhering to the anti-doping code is their personal responsibility.
The AFL wrote to the clubs in October, advising them of its plans to more strongly regulate clubs' use of supplements and medical treatments in the wake of the investigation into Essendon this year.
The league has been working on an ''approved'' list of substances and products, as well as a prohibited treatment list, a controlled treatment list and a prohibited provider list so that clubs were clearer on what they could or could not do or use.
The AFL's plan is to remove any ambiguity and distinguish acceptable treatments and nutritional substances from potentially dangerous and performance-enhancing supplements.
The crackdown would also ban any person but the club doctor from possessing needles or injectables and ensure substances could only be injected by qualified practitioners, for legitimate medical reasons.
Clubs would be required to adhere to stricter requirements when storing and documenting the substances kept on their premises, and be required to report any invitations to potentially breach the anti-doping code to the league.
More authority would be returned to club doctors under the AFL's planned changes, with doctors required to sign off on every aspect of a player's treatment.
Emma Quayle joined The Age as a cadet journalist in 1999 and has been covering football since 2001. She has won awards from the Australian Football Media Association and AFL Players Association for her feature writing, and specialised for many years in covering junior football and the AFL draft. Emma's two books - The Draft and Nine Lives (the story of former Essendon wingman Adam Ramanauskas' battle with cancer) - were published in 2008 and 2010.
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