AFL Hall of Fame member Wayne Carey has sensationally called on the AFL to ban pain-killing injections, saying that they're a performance enhancement for injured players.
Speaking on 7Mate's Talking Footy, Carey cited the long-term health of players as a means to ban the injections.
“We don’t talk about protecting the players, because they won’t protect themselves,” Carey said.
“Players will do anything they can. They’ll get as many injections, whether it be during a game or at times to train during the week to get up for a game. Clearly that’s performance-enhancing, because you’re not able to play without that injection."
Carey's comments come following Joel Selwood's return to the field on Friday night after it appeared he had suffered a serious ankle injury.
The Cats skipper went down to the rooms in visible pain before reappearing in the second half of their game against Sydney, prompting Carey to suggest he would've received “injections in his ankle to come out and play the game”.
Selwood eventually sat out the final quarter before undergoing surgery on his ankle on Monday.
Carey added that while the league is cracking down on head knocks and concussions, more has to be done to ensure the overall safety of players, both now and in the future.
“We’re protecting players that have head knocks these days, but we’re not protecting players who are that courageous and will come out after having two or three injections. Joel Selwood would say ‘jab me every week and I’ll play for the next three’," Carey added.
“We’ve seen players suspended in this competition for having an energy drink that’s got a small (stimulant) in it for two years. Then we’ve had Essendon go through what they’ve gone through — none of them tested positive, they don’t know what they’ve taken,” Carey argued.
“They’ve been through all of this and yet we can inject players during games and before games to get them up to play? I think that’s performance-enhancing.”