Collingwood have been fined $50,000 ($25,000 suspended) after coach Nathan Buckley and assistant Brenton Sanderson broke strict COVID-19 protocols by reportedly playing tennis with former world number 8 Alicia Molik in Perth.
"Collingwood informed the AFL that Senior Coach Nathan Buckley and Assistant Coach Brenton Sanderson yesterday played a tennis match with two people from outside of the approved club people," an AFL statement read on Saturday.
"Both Buckley and Sanderson immediately reported the inadvertent breach to Collingwood officials when they realised they didn’t have the appropriate approval to partake in the activity."
Club president Mark Anderson said Collingwood were deeply apologetic for the incident.
“This is a very disappointing reminder of how vigilant we must be to keep the season alive,” Anderson said in a club statement.
“Our game has been granted the right to continue to play by governments around the country. In exchange for that right we simply must do all that we can to protect the health of our players, staff and the communities in which we are living and playing.
“Our football program has been educated and constantly reminded of its responsibilities and as senior leaders of our program both accept that this breach should not have occurred.
“As a club, we apologise, vow to be better and fully accept the penalty.”
Earlier, Channel 7's Mark Stevens reported that a hit of tennis involving Collingwood coaches may have seen the club face a significant fine.
Collingwood have completed their 14 days of hard quarantine in Perth but are still unable to play tennis with anyone outside the club’s ‘bubble’.
Pies president Eddie McGuire recently called for anyone caught breaking protocols to be immediately sent home.
“I think the people who breach the protocols should be fined personally, to be honest,” McGuire told Fox Footy.
“You can get to the clubs in due course, I think the AFL’s set it out, but I think it’s got to be a personal fine.
“I think the point Gill McLachlan made during the week is 100 per cent right: we make a rule to keep the game going.
“From here until the grand final, there’s still about $250 million worth to be left on the table if this ends. It’d be a disaster, imagine if we don’t get to finish off the finals series now.”
Hawthorn were handed a $50,000 fine ($25,000 suspended) while Carlton, North Melbourne and Richmond were fined $45,000 ($25,000 suspended) for respective breaches in previous days.