The NRL is feeling the effects of another drug scandal, prompting speculation of an illicit drug problem within the sport.

There were four separate incidents over the weekend, including Cronulla chairman Damian Keogh.

Ashleigh Dwan reports.


Keogh says he doesn’t have a drug problem despite his arrest for possessing an illegal substance.

He’s stood down as Cronulla chairman after being found with a small bag containing a white substance.

Damian Keogh, Former Cronulla Chairman: “Dealing with the whole ASADA issue, it’s been something that has, it’s been a black cloud hanging over the club.”

The NRL integrity unit is also investigating Sydney Roosters skipper Shaun Kenny-Dowall, New Zealand skipper Jesse Bromwich and Gold Coast backrower Kevin Proctor.

Each were involved in separate drug matters over the weekend.

But it seems drugs aren’t just a problem for the league.

Andrew McCullough, Broncos Player: “I don’t think it’s just rugby league players, I think it’s society. I know everyone talks about differences in society and all that sort of thing but it is a general probably concern throughout the whole public.”

Psychologists say there’s a variety of reasons why players turn to illicit substances.

Our star NRL players have access to disposable income and the resources to access drugs.

But, the main reason for a drug problem in sport is the overarching psychological pressures.

Dr Tristan Coulter, School of Psychology QUT: “Managing stress levels, it could be because they’re having a dip in form and dealing with a lack of confidence. It could be as simple as boredom depending on the type of personality.”

Broncos player Andrew McCullough says players need to be educated, but concedes sitting in a classroom is a lot different to celebrating with your mates.

Ashleigh Dwan, QUT News.