Tom’s back from the outer
Two years ago Thomas Carr was dreaming of playing in the NRL. He was 23, just back from ankle surgery and as fit as ever.
His dream suddenly evaporated when he tested positive to two banned substances - Higenamine and 1,4-Dimethylpentylamine - and was banned for two years.
Carr believes the source was a contaminated pre-workout supplement he was taking to help him get through his training while working full-time.
“It’s the only thing I had taken outside of the club,” Carr says. “I was taking my pre-workout because I was training full-time but also working full-time … so they were pretty long days, I was struggling to stay up and active, kind of awake, during those days.”
The positive test forced him on to the sidelines and out of a team that went on to win a Grand Final.
Carr says having his dream seemingly taken away “hit him pretty hard”.
“I didn’t like watching it [rugby league], for the first year, year and a half, I don’t think I watched a full game, I definitely couldn’t go and watch games live.
“Some of my mates made their [NRL] debuts the next year and as much as I said I wanted to go and watch them I couldn’t bear going to the game and watching.”
Carr encourages athletes to think about the consequences of taking supplements as they may be contaminated, like he believes his was.
“I feel like supplements can promise you everything but they don't really do more than hard work does,” he says. “I guess if you put your head down and rip in, you're going to get through, you’re going to get more out of it than what supplements offer you.”
Carr, now 25, is once again trying to establish his NRL credentials.
“The goal is still to make NRL,” he says. “All the hard work has gone down the drain and I have to start again at a different club. Obviously it dropped me back a little bit, but hopefully I can start back again and prove to myself that I’m able to play at that NRL level.”
** Sport Integrity Australia does not approve or endorse supplements as they pose too much risk to an athlete’s health and career. Athletes who choose to take supplements despite the risks are urged to check all substances on the Sport Integrity app before taking them. For more information visit Sport Integrity Australia website.