AFL club presidents Jeff Kennett and Peter Gordon have slammed the AFL’s illicit drugs policy, saying clubs deserve the right to know who’s using substances within their club.
Gordon told the Herald Sun that he feels clubs should know whether players were “repetitively breaking the law by using illicit substances” or “grooming” younger teammates into the life.
“If there was a player on any club’s list that was doing that, then I would want the right to sack them,” Gordon told the Herald Sun.
“It’s wrong for anyone to focus on the number of players that any particular club may be suspected or alleged to have had in relation to this issue, because the clubs have no say, no power and no control over this policy.
“This current illicit drugs policy is a deal cut between the AFL, as the regulator of the competition, and the AFLPA, as the players’ union … and the results of it are there for everyone to see.
“I have complained, both publicly and privately to the AFL commission, that it puts the clubs, as employers, in an invidious position.
“We have a duty of care to protect the interests of our players — and not just those who may be using — but those who may be coming to the club for the first time and may be put in harm’s way by being groomed or facilitated into social contact with other players who are users.”
Kennett reaffirmed this, saying clubs should know and be able to enforce the law within their club.
“As president, I am still not informed about those who have had strikes — and I find that to be totally hypocritical and self-defeating,” Kennett told the Herald Sun.
“If the AFL has a policy on drugs it should be enforceable and anyone who voluntarily puts their hand up to be a league player … should be prepared for the consequences.”
Former St Kilda coach Grant Thomas told SEN Breakfast he feels drug use was “rife” in the AFL during his time at the Saints and has only gotten worse since.