Gareth from the Office: Time to name and shame football drug cheats


So there’s a drug problem in professional football is there?

Add that to the gambling problem, the drinking culture and the amount of sexual assaults and you’d wonder how any games get played at all.

Now of course I am tarring a lot of players with the same brush here and they will cop a lot of flak for the wrongdoings of other players.

But if players want to do any of that rubbish off the football pitch then let them, but their names should NOT be a secret.

Footballers are in the public eye, they know that from the minute they put their boots on – but that continues after they have taken their boots off.

They are supposed to be role models and they should realise that.

Now I’m not saying that every young player would start snorting cocaine if they saw a high profile name doing it, but as a lot of children copy what their idols do on the pitch, whose to say they won’t do that as well.

The Dispatches report that appeared on Channel 4 on Monday night revealed that over a three year period between 2007 and 2010 240 drugs tests had to be cancelled for a number of reasons. Something to hide, I would guess.

The FA is supposedly so hot on people taking drugs tests yet 28 per cent of players of the 700 people surveyed said they had not been tested for two years.

But the clubs don’t help matters by covering it up. Garry O’Connor, a former Birmingham City player, failed a drugs test after testing positive for cocaine yet his then manager Alex McGleish came out and said the player was injured. Sorry?

If players are going to put themselves forward to revel in the glory associated with football then they have to face the consequences of their negative actions.

Chelsea named and shamed Adrian Mutu when he was caught so why don’t all clubs do it?

If I was the manager or chairman of a club that had a player who failed a drugs test I would throw them out on their ear – Wayne Rooney or David Beckham included.

The Dispatches programme wasn’t particularly groundbreaking and it left a lot of unanswered questions, especially who were player A and player B who were England internationals failing drugs tests?

The public has a right to know who they are and their problems should not be hidden away.

You know what you sign up for when you put pen to paper on that contract. So if you do something wrong you should hold your hands up, take the punishment and face your problems like a man without hiding behind the black, anonymous player silhouette.