FORMER Queanbeyan Tigers footballer Alex Overs has been suspended for 15-months after testing positive for a banned substance following the 2012 Eastern Conference grand final.
While Overs accepted a voluntary provisional suspension from the AFL’s Anti-Doping Tribunal in December 2012, that suspension was not acknowledged by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority until last Friday.
Overs tested positive for the pain killer Oxycodone which is categorised as a narcotic by the World Anti-Doping Authority and is prohibited in-competition.
The backdated nature of the suspension means Overs will be ineligible to return to the field under March 20, 2014.
The Queanbeyan Age
attempted to contact Overs during the week but calls to the 21-year-old went unreturned.
When contacted by The Age, the Queanbeyan Tigers were also unwilling to comment on the matter, instead directing questions to the AFL.
Tigers coach Kade Klemke however, confirmed the AFL and club regularly educate players in regards to the NEAFL’s anti-doping guidelines.
“We have a person come in from the AFL every year and talk about [drug policy] so it’s something we’re aware of,” Klemke said. “We do have those talks pretty regularly.”
The Canberra Times
has reported that Overs is understood to have taken the painkiller for a knee injury he was carrying into Queanbeyan’s grand final against the Sydney Swans Reserves.
He is believed to have been unaware the painkiller contained a substance which was banned by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority.
Overs was a major contributor to the Tigers’ 2012 campaign, playing 18 games. He did not play for Queanbeyan in 2013 and has since signed with the Shepparton Swans.
AFL National Second Tier Manager, Simon Laughton, said the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal’s decision served as a stark reminder to players of the need to follow the proper process when considering the use of medication or any substance.
“This ruling should act as a warning to players at all levels that the use of substances, even pain killers, requires careful consideration and adherence to the process set down by ASADA,” Mr Laughton said.
“It also reinforces the need to be thorough regardless of whether the substance is a supplement, a form of medication or any other substance.
“All players are responsible for the substances that enter their body and they are also responsible for any method they undertake which is why they should always seek advice that is specific to their own circumstances in advance from their club doctor.”