Footballers' binge drinking revealed

AFL players are binge-drinking at up to six times the rate of other young Australian men, a comprehensive study of footballers' alcohol problems reveals.
An anonymous survey of 582 AFL players has uncovered "extremely high" rates of "risky drinking" among the elite of Aussie rules, the Herald Sun reports.

The study, commissioned by the AFL and AFL Players' Association, found players believed their health, careers, relationships and finances were being jeopardised by their drinking habits.

It also concluded "formal club rules on alcohol consumption had little effect" on players' behaviour.
Senior players were shown to be just as likely as rookies to over-indulge, with age or status having little influence on alcohol consumption.

Players' wives were among the few moderating influences, with single men more prone to binges than their married counterparts, authors of the report published in the Medical Journal of Au stralia found.

The two-week period following a season's final siren, beginning with the infamous "Mad Monday" celebrations, was the most dangerous.

During that fortnight, 37 per cent of players consume more than 86 standard drinks, putting themselves at "high risk of long-term harm".

More than a quarter continued that trend during their holidays.

It is estimated that only 6 per cent of Australian men aged 20-29 drink as heavily.