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If you’re like me, you pay almost no interest to the nonsense in your email inbox, but anything from BAFA warrants a proper read. Wondering if there’s any hint in there of what’s happening with the season even though the fixtures are out (albeit with some initial teething problems such as including teams that aren’t ready to play football…) there might be some news from the Board as to next season or what’s going on behind that BAFA curtain that we’re not allowed to look behind.

At 22:19 hours on Thursday the 27th of May 2021, Frank receives an email from BAFA. Having worked during the day, he didn’t pay much notice to it, other than it mentioned something to do with ‘Supplement use and doping in British American Football – a survey’. Now, I know I’m usually super keen to see what they’re up to, but I left it till the morning.

Tell you what, I’m so glad I did…

It’s a survey basically asking about doping but in a really leading fashion, trying to get players to tell them what they’ve been using. It starts off with a couple of fairly safe questions like; ‘Have you ever used creatine?’ and ‘have you ever used protein?’ then launches straight into the fun stuff.

“Have you ever used cannabis… Have you ever used steroids…. Have you used it for this… Have you used it for that… Would you use it for this reason….” Don’t take my word for it: these are images from the actual survey:

Now, Frank is clean (if he wasn’t, he wouldn’t look like a melted wheelie bin and cry after a heavy squat season) and most importantly, Frank ain’t no grass, so despite this being an anonymous survey, he’s not gonna shop his pals.

But wait.

Wait a minute.

Is it anonymous….?

Prior to doing to the survey, you need to create a six digit code that is tagged onto the answers you give.

So, the last two digits of your date of birth… Right… Then the last two digits of your phone number… Okay… Then the last two digits of your postcode… Wait, what?

Now, in my career in British American Football, I’ve not been aware of ANY drug testing that has gone on. I’ve been to see some of the Prem finals and witnessed some absolute monsters knocking seven bells out of each other, but not once has anyone from BAFA thought, “Hey, wonder if we should test that 20 stone solid muscle freak of nature that is currently foaming from the mouth?” because it’s too expensive for an amateur league to carry out the testing. Paying a professional to come in, get the samples, send them off, get them tested etc etc etc.

But what if… What if we could just get the folk to send us their details as to who’s taking what? If anyone’s crazy enough to admit to taking all kinds of illegal drugs on a survey that has their year of birth, the last two digits of their phone number AND their postcode, we could run a little searchy search of the BAFA Azolve site and consider doing some targeted testing. How handy would that be?

If they’d said, “Add your own personal number that only you’d know,” maybe Frank wouldn’t have felt the need to write this, but something just smells a bit off.

Sorry Dr Liam Harper, I’m sure your intentions were in no way meant to mug off the good people of Britball but it just seems like BAFA are like the Police saying,

“If you’ve ever committed any crime, raise your hand and we won’t lock you up… Honest…”

For their next trick, BAFA will ask for your long number on the front of your card, your expiry date, the three digits on the back, your mother’s maiden name and the school you first went to.

Frank.

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