The AFL has released a statement regarding the illicit drugs policy, following a report in the Herald Sun on Thursday, claiming that 11 Collinwgood players returned positive tests during the off-season.

The league confirmed that “competition-wide hair testing” was conducted during the off-season, but said the results of the testing will not be made public.

Earlir on Saturday, AFL Players’ Association chief executive Paul Marsh, claimed on Macquarie Radio that the figures reported in the Herald Sun were inaccurate.

“It’s really disappointing on a few fronts. One it is inaccurate,” Marsh said.

“Secondly, we’ve just agreed to a new policy with the industry and one of the things we agreed to is confidentiality and we see no reason and it’s of no benefit to be playing this out publicly.

“For someone to be talking about this, it’s a speculative article. I don’t know where it’s come from.”


The AFL conducted competition-wide hair hair testing for illicit drugs in the players’ holiday period.

This competition wide testing is done with the agreement of the AFLPA, and is part of a new Illicit Drugs Policy. The testing in the holiday period is agreed to by the players, and is part of informing the code regarding drug use.

The AFL Illicit Drugs Policy was changed last year, and the changes include increased intervention at all positive tests and stronger penalties, including suspensions on a second positive test.

The new policy regime will be in force this year.

Mark Evans, AFL General Manager of Football Operations said that the new policy gives the code unprecedented levels of information regarding drug use, and a stronger capacity to intervene and penalise players.

“This is the first year of the policy’s operation, and I ask that the new policy be given a chance to be in operation and measured for its impact before we demand new changes.

“The use of illicit drugs affects all sections of society, including AFL players, but testing results continue to indicate levels of use below the general public.

“The AFL has informed the Clubs regarding the hair testing over the holidays, but we will not make these public.

“The AFL remains committed to an Illicit Drugs policy that seeks to change behaviour, and penalise players whose behaviour doesn’t change,” Mr. Evans said.


  1. Twelve Essendon players were banned for being led up the path by an evil doctor and a dishonest club then got stuffed around by a corrupt AFL and government system.

    Yet there are lunatics allowed to play despite having broken not only the rules of the game but the actual public law and were probably driving on the roads putting other people at risk while under the influence.

    The only reason why the AFL won’t release the names is that there probably won’t be enough players left in some teams after the offending players are banned.

    But isn’t that double standards and unfair to the club’s that were / are clean? As stated they just don’t want to ruin and the strip the comp by banning players. If this is the AFLs chosen route then they should reverse the bans on the Essendon 12.

    Also… A recorded result is pure and simple evidence that an individual has broken the law hence in the eyes of the law can’t the public prosecutor step in and demand the results be turned over to the police for criminal convictions?

  2. So if the AFL informed the clubs McGuire was wrong when he said we haven’t been told and it is part of the privacy agreement between the AFLPA and the AFL or the AFL are trying to pass the buck.

  3. AFL Promote there game to Our Kids

    What a joke

    Promote drug use its ok as long as your playing for an AFL Club it’s ok

    Wake up Dickheads your game is full of players that take illegal Drugs and your doing nothing about it

    Buddy has a mental health problem

    No buddy was busted on drugs but can’t have your 10 million dollar poster boy banned simple

  4. Either start naming all the clubs or dont write articles about it collingwood tested positive woth the least ammout of players out of the 3 clubs why are they the ones being singled out in headlines

  5. There is so much speculation because the VFL/afl and the players association are so bloody secretive every time there is a drug issue they drag the WHITE WASH out and go to town really getting tied of the VFL/afl 😠😠😠😠

  6. What i cant understand is why there are no illicit drugs on WADA or ASADA banned lists.
    Surely illegal drug use is something that should not be showing up on any sportspersons samples.
    Plain and simple.
    Name shame ban.
    Time to get a lot tougher on users, AFL.

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