Ferguson still a work in progress

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IF Blake Ferguson was an American footballer they probably would have made a movie about him by now.

Blake Ferguson
Blake Ferguson

When it comes to sportspeople losing their way and then finding their way back, Ferguson is from Central Casting!

In Canberra though, we have good reason to be cautious. Talented Josh Dugan and Todd Carney are just two who have tested our faith in anybody who plays for the Raiders.

Time and time again our support was thrown back in our collective faces. Having dealt on a professional level with all three many times over the years, they couldn’t have been more different to the rap sheets accumulated for multiple, off-field indiscretions. They promised never to do it again and appeared remorseful, until the next time.

There is only so much goodwill to go around and in the case of Carney and Dugan, it ran out. Ferguson would be well aware of how close he is to expiring his share at the Raiders. As such, he has made an effort to turn his life around after the “pineapple Breezer on the roof affair”. He placed himself on a six-week alcohol ban and worked hard to win back the support of his teammates.

I turned up early to training a couple of weeks ago; Ferguson cut a lone figure as he practised his goal kicking. It was a sight that indicated to me that he was on the road back.

Selection in the NSW State of Origin side would prove that he is on the right track, but as most at the Raiders would acknowledge, he remains a work in progress.

Wake-up call

I HAVE been to many education programs put on by sports organisations to inform athletes about the dangers of using performance-enhancing drugs.

It is obvious that some participants have a limited attention span and tune out after a couple of minutes. Therefore, it comes as no surprise to see athletes still getting caught for using banned drugs, then claiming they didn’t know it was prohibited. What else can sports do to warn of the dangers?

The positive to come out of the current drugs investigation is that it may provide a wake-up call to athletes to check whether supplements or the like are on the banned list.

 

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Tim Gavel
Journalist and ABC sports broadcaster

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