Tue, Jan


Two play­ers test­ed pos­i­tive for mar­i­jua­na use, are set to re­ceive much-need­ed help from their T&T Pro League club St Ann's Rangers.

The play­ers, one a mid­field­er and the oth­er a strik­er, were im­me­di­ate­ly dropped from Den­nis Lawrence's pro­vi­sion­al na­tion­al squad fol­low­ing a ran­dom drug test on March 7 and 8. A T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion re­leased yes­ter­day con­firmed the pos­i­tive test and stat­ed that com­mu­ni­ca­tion is on­go­ing.

How­ev­er, new St Ann's Rangers man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Richard Fer­gu­son said his play­ers will not be aban­doned be­cause of one mis­take. While he did not name the two play­ers, he al­so did not rule out the pos­si­bil­i­ty of pun­ish­ment for the play­ers, Fer­gu­son told Guardian Me­dia Sports his club will rather seek ways of pro­vid­ing as­sis­tance, whether through seek­ing coun­selling or a psy­chi­a­trist.

Since news of their pos­i­tive test, the play­ers have been un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the club.

Ac­cord­ing to the Rangers' rules and reg­u­la­tions re­gard­ing drug use, the play­ers are to pro­vide a writ­ten re­port, be­fore fac­ing the dis­ci­pli­nary com­mit­tee. "The club is in­ves­ti­gat­ing be­cause the play­ers are un­der con­tract. But we have faith in our play­ers, we have the play­ers' in­ter­ests at heart, and will there­fore not just aban­don them be­cause of a mis­take," Fer­gu­son ex­plained.

He added, "If there is a need to pun­ish them then that will hap­pen. The club has strict rules re­gard­ing drug use and it will def­i­nite­ly be tak­ing ac­tions."

The play­ers are set to re­ceive a warn­ing and pos­si­bly a fine for their first-time of­fence, Fer­gu­son said, but not­ed it will be­come more se­vere if play­ers are caught a sec­ond and third time etc. Mar­i­jua­na is not the on­ly drug that Rangers' play­ers will be pun­ished for, as they could face a sim­i­lar penal­ty for cig­a­rette use, al­co­hol and or any form of per­for­mance en­hance­ment drug.

T&T Pro League chair­man Richard Fakoory said his league stands firm­ly against drug use but has tak­en lit­tle to no ac­tion against play­ers, as they can­not af­ford to pay for the tests.

How­ev­er, he promised that when the new pro league sea­son starts, the league will en­force its rules and reg­u­la­tions.

Due to the lim­it­ed funds how­ev­er, the pro league has left it up to the var­i­ous clubs to take ac­tion for drug use.