It is occasionally difficult to stay abreast of professional and amateur sports codes policies with regard to performance enhancing drugs.
We see competitors disqualified for taking benign decongestants and antihistamines, some of which, admittedly, are used to mask the presence of actual performance chemicals. We see other cases where athletes pass blood and urine tests and are cleared to compete, only to see them caught later by better detection techniques.
Now, we learn that Jeremy McGovern needed six painkilling injections to get on MCG for the 2018 AFL Grand Final.
That puts us in need of some painkilling, which we will administer shortly by imbibing some foamy painkiller and six seems like just about the right number.
McGovern no doubt was in pain, suffering from torn ab muscles and cracked ribs. He was hurt in the preliminary final win over the Demons following a collision with Chris Petracca.
McGovern then spent a night in hospital for observation and treatment of internal bleeding. He was given a morphine drip.
Is it just us, or does something seem off kilter here?
We cannot blame McGovern for seeking treatment for cracked ribs. We have had some and even coughing, or the realisation that coughing was imminent, evoked certain dread. The prospect of sneezing was incomprehensible.
Playing football in such a state confirms that McGovern is either brave beyond belief or completely daft.
McGovern received injections on Grand Final eve, followed by another six on the day of the Grand Final.
He now has a more than adequate number of needles to get his Grand Final tattoo.
Along with turning in a fine performance in the Grand Final, McGovern no doubt found the women in the stands more attractive and himself totally immune to criticism.
We ourselves have no objections, other than the wrong message being sent to you amateurs, to professional athletes using chemicals to increase their output, or in McGovern’s case, to play when otherwise the proposition would have been impossible.
What though, did he use and what is the AFL policy on painkillers?
In 2015, Fremantle player Ryan Crowley was using a painkiller that caused him to fail a match-day drug test.
Opioids, of which morphine is one, are strictly banned in the AFL.