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Football clubs are to start testing players for laughing gas amid fears the illegal drug is rife among Premier League stars, according to reports. 

Players think they can hide their usage of ‘hippy crack’ as it doesn’t show up in drugs tests, according to a source.

Some are said to be ‘massively addicted’ with one club cutting ties with a player when a fitness test revealed his legs were ‘f***ed’ due to his obsessive usage. 

Others have seen transfer deals fall through when doctors discovered high levels of the gas.

Last week a Premier League footballer checked in to a medical centre after his family reportedly reached out to his club to help with his addiction to nitrous oxide.

Premier League players Raheem Sterling, Kyle Walker, Dele Alli, and Demarai Gray have all been previously rapped after pictures and videos emerged of them inhaling nitrous oxide through a balloon. 

Football clubs are to start testing players for laughing gas amid fears the illegal drug is rife among Premier League stars (Pictured: Nitrous oxide gas canisters littering the street)

Football clubs are to start testing players for laughing gas amid fears the illegal drug is rife among Premier League stars (Pictured: Nitrous oxide gas canisters littering the street)

The Sun reports one footballer spent £10,000 on laughing gas for a birthday bash, while another saw a deal to a Championship side be scuppered when it was found the drug had severely damaged his nervous system. 

A source said footballers using laughing gas was a ‘massive problem, which clubs are only just starting to understand and get a grip on’.

What is Nitrous Oxide and is it illegal?

Nitrous Oxide, has been nicknamed ‘laughing gas’ due to the euphoric and relaxed feeling people who inhale it can sometimes feel.

The substance – also known as ‘hippy crack’ – is normally bought in pressured canisters, commonly transferred to a container, e.g. a balloon, from which the gas is inhaled.

Although possession of laughing gas is not illegal, English law prohibits its sale to under-18s if there is a chance they will inhale it. 

Nitrous Oxide canisters and cigarette butts litter a roadside in Camden Town on February 11

Nitrous Oxide canisters and cigarette butts litter a roadside in Camden Town on February 11

The effects of nitrous oxide vary depending on how much has been inhaled but they include:

• Feelings of euphoria, relaxation and calmness.

• Dizziness, difficulty in thinking straight and fits of giggles/laughter.

• Sound distortions or even hallucinations.

• In some people, a headache can be an unwanted immediate effect.

Risks include:

• Unconsciousness or death from lack of oxygen. This occurs when the available oxygen for breathing is effectively pushed out by the nitrous oxide.

They said: ‘Players think they can get away with it because it doesn’t show up in drug tests and until recently it wasn’t illegal, but some are addicts and it’s having a hugely negative effect on their health and their careers.’

If a large amount of nitrous oxide is inhaled it can produce loss of blood pressure, fainting or even a heart attack.

According to the Alcohol and Drug foundation, inhaling nitrous oxide can be fatal if you don’t get enough oxygen, which is known as hypoxia.

Prolonged exposure to nitrous oxide may also result in memory loss, weakened immune system, limb spasms, psychological dependence, depression and more.

Laughing gas became illegal in November and is now categorised as a controlled Class C drug meaning dealers could face up to 14 years in jail.

Users face an unlimited fine, community service, a caution – which would appear on their criminal record – or a possible two-year sentence for serious habitual users.

Several footballers including the likes of England internationals Jack Grealish and Kyle Walker, Dele Alli, Leon Bailey and Damarai Gray have been pictured with laughing gas before.

Ali was pictured with a balloon in his mouth surrounded by laughing gas canisters in April 2023 before heading to rehab in the US to help with his sleeping pill addiction.

A picture shared on social media claiming to be inside a flat in Salford showed Alli and several friends sitting around a table laden with giant bottles of nitrous oxide.

The table was also littered with a variety of other party-related items, including £215.00 Clase Azul tequila, Magnum – a 16.5 percent alcohol tonic wine from Jamaica.

Aston Villa’s Leon Bailey was also pictured holding a giant balloon to his lips while sitting in the front seat of his car in March 2023 after Aston Villa’s 2-0 win over Everton.

A time-stamp and location at the bottom of the video is said to have read: ‘Birmingham 7.19am’, The Sun reported.

It is believed Bailey had been at a friend’s birthday party on the Saturday night following his 61st-minute substitution during the Premier League clash.

Walker was another player pictured inhaling the laughing gas. He was pictured sucking on a balloon in September 2013.

The pictures of Walker were released while he was away in Kiev on international duty, preparing for England’s World Cup qualifier against Ukraine.

The picture of Walker is said to have been taken in June when an injury forced him out of the England squad to face the Republic of Ireland and the Brazil.

Walker took full responsibility for his actions and released the following statement while in camp with his Three Lions team-mates.

‘I have now been made aware of the health risks associated with the practice and accept that my actions were of poor judgement. I hope this will in no way influence or encourage others into putting their own health at risk.’

Ali was pictured with a balloon in his mouth surrounded by laughing gas canisters in April 2023 before heading to rehab in the US to help with his sleeping pill addiction

Ali was pictured with a balloon in his mouth surrounded by laughing gas canisters in April 2023 before heading to rehab in the US to help with his sleeping pill addiction

Aston Villa's Leon Bailey appeared to be singing to music from the front seat of a car as he looked into the camera and inhaled the contents of a balloon in March 2023

Aston Villa’s Leon Bailey appeared to be singing to music from the front seat of a car as he looked into the camera and inhaled the contents of a balloon in March 2023

Several footballers including the likes of Jack Grealish (pictured), Dele Alli, Leon Baily and Kyle Walker have been pictured with laughing gas before

Several footballers including the likes of Jack Grealish (pictured), Dele Alli, Leon Baily and Kyle Walker have been pictured with laughing gas before

In 2013, Gray, who was playing for Leicester City at the time, was disciplined after he posted a video online of himself inhaling what was believed to be laughing gas from a balloon. 

He apologised at the time with the club criticising him for his ‘poor judgement’. 

Four members of Brighton’s squad at the time – Shane Duffy, Pascal Gross, Leandro Trossard and Alireza Jahanbakhsh – were also spotted inhaling balloons during a Spanish getaway in 2020.

Sport science professor and former FA performance head John Brewer has explained how exposure to nitrous oxide can reduce a player’s levels of vitamin B12.

He said: ‘B12 is essential for nerve function. So if you are a top-level footballer trying to make skillful movements and pass a ball effectively, you don’t want your nerves to be damaged in any way because you need that peripheral ability to sense movements.’

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Post sourceDaily mail

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