AFL takes harder line on illicit drug users
SECOND-strike drug offenders will be publicly named, suspended and fined under a revamped illicit drugs code to be ticked off by the AFL Commission today.
A third strike will incur a heavier fine and a much longer suspension.
But first-time drug offenders’ identities will be kept secret and they will receive suspended fines.
The most recent proposed penalties included a four-week ban and $5000 fine for a second strike and 12-week ban and $10,000 fine for a third strike.
The league and AFL Players’ Association have agreed to the tougher rules after a season marred by multiple scandals.
Players with no strikes will retain the opportunity to “self-report” their drug use only once to escape a strike.
And in another win for players, positive hair tests will not register a strike and will continue to be used for research and to guide target testing
Club and AFL bosses have been adamant players should face a consequence for every strike recorded under the new policy, which replaces the 10year-old strike system. The new rules will be reviewed again as part of coming collective bargaining agreement talks between the player union and AFL chiefs.
The results of illicit drug testing figures for the 2014 season have not been released and are likely to be kept secret under the revamped system.
St Kilda recruit Jake Carlisle became embroiled in drugs controversy after video emerged last week showing him snorting a white powder.
It was unclear last night whether Carlisle, who has admitted to a “very poor decision” and “inappropriate behaviour”, would receive a strike.
Former Gold Coast players Harley Bennell and Karmichael Hunt and Collingwood pair Lachie Keeffe and Josh Thomas were linked to illicit drug use this year. Keeffe and Thomas received two-year suspensions after a banned performanceenhancing substance was detected in their system, believed to have been “cut” into an illicit drug they had consumed.
It is understood Bennell, who was traded by the Suns last month, received an automatic strike after photographs of him with drugs in a Tasmanian hotel room were on the Herald Sun front page in July.
Hunt pleaded guilty to charges of cocaine possession this year.