DIANNE BUT­LER

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Cover Story -

ALAS­TAIR Lynch re­tired al­most 10 years ago, and football has since un­der­gone a tec­tonic shift.

Ob­vi­ously one change: vis­i­ble tat­toos.

‘‘ There weren’t many at all. I don’t think any­one in our team had the tatts that were on the arms . . . there were a few premier­ship tat­toos on the back and tucked un­der socks but no, it’s a very dif­fer­ent look th­ese days,’’ Lynch says.

And there also ap­pears to be more drugs now. In 1998, Lynch was in­ves­ti­gated af­ter a drug he’d been pre­scribed, DHEA, was banned.

‘‘ My sit­u­a­tion, I was get­ting treated for a med­i­cal con­di­tion and I ad­vised the AFL that my med­i­ca­tion had been put on the banned list so I went through all the cor­rect pro­to­cols and made sure I ticked all the boxes so I don’t think I was ever in any trou­ble at all.’’

He says drugs are a se­ri­ous prob­lem, but frus­trat­ing for com­men­ta­tors be­cause of the lack of pub­licly avail­able facts.

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‘‘ The play­ers have got a re­spon­si­bil­ity to make sure they do the right thing, but the re­al­ity is they rely heav­ily on ad­vice from oth­ers and the buck stops with the doc­tor.’’

But the buck doesn’t stop with the doc­tor, it stops with the player.

‘‘ That’s right. The buck stops with the player. But part of that process is the player ac­tu­ally goes to the club doc­tor and re­lies heav­ily on the club doc­tor’s in­for­ma­tion.’’

So the doc­tor is go­ing to have to have their phone on at 2am dur­ing the off-sea­son? ‘‘ Oh, absolutely.’’ Lynch says if a phar­ma­ceut- icals com­pany was to spon­sor a jumper, he’d be com­fort­able with it. How is he with bet­ting agen­cies spon­sor­ing teams?

‘‘ Well, that’s the thing, again th­ese grey ar­eas,’’ he says. ‘‘ The AFL and, there­fore, the AFL play­ers do re­ceive a lot of money from gam­bling or­gan­i­sa­tions. And they cer­tainly reap great re­wards from our sport. In the me­dia as well, we’ve got spon­sor­ship from a sports bet or­gan­i­sa­tion. So I think that’s fine.’’

Lynch was un­aware of the re­cent al­le­ga­tion made by Chan­nel 7’s Brian Tay­lor about Ma­jak Daw — that his name is in fact pro­nounced ‘‘ Dow’’ and he’s just too shy to cor­rect ev­ery­one. Af­ter the Bounce, Fox Footy, Sun­day, 7.30pm

Drugs, tat­toos, bet­ting: Alas­tair Lynch says footy has changed a lot in 10 years.

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