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Graham: NRL is targeting wrong drug users

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/05/2017 Darren Walton

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Video provided by Seven News

Forget illicit drug users, Canterbury enforcer James Graham wants the NRL and ASADA to weed out players taking performance-enhancing substances.

Graham stopped short of condoning recreational drug use in the game - which Billy Slater fears may be getting out of hand - but the Bulldogs skipper sympathised for the likes of Kiwi internationals Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor, who were caught out after a night of heavy drinking.

"People are very quick to condemn and judge these people and sort of kangaroo court it ... these people have a right to be rehabilitated," Graham said on Fox Sports' NRL 360 program.

Graham would prefer authorities to target players who deliberately try to gain an edge illegally.

James Graham of the Bulldogs © AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts James Graham of the Bulldogs "For me, the focus should be on the ASADA testing," he said.

"For me, as an opposition player coming up against these guys that are allegedly involved in these instances, to be honest, I don't really care what they're up to on the weekend, if they're out and about till five o'clock in the morning.

"I do care if they're choosing to enhance their performance illegally.

"I'd like to see more emphasis on that."

Like his future teammate, Belmore-bound Wests Tigers captain Aaron Woods also sympathised with Bromwich and Proctor, whose penalties for first-time drug offences include being scratched from New Zealand's 2017 World Cup reckoning.

Woods, though, said the warnings were loud and clear for all NRL players.

"We are educated very well, but some players do make a bad decision when they go out and have a few drinks," he said.

"Things happen at night.

"Like Jesse and Kevin did, they can't remember a thing. They went out, probably didn't go out at the start of the night thinking they were going to get on this stuff."

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