SEN chief broadcaster Gerard Whateley and Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley have gone head-to-head over issues surrounding the culture at the Magpies.
With Collingwood defender Sam Murray facing an ASADA investigation for having performance enhancing substances in his body on game day, Whateley asked if their was a pattern emerging at the club.
“You have dealt with drug issues either fairly or unfairly in the past, some documented, some by interpretation or extrapolation. Does Collingwood have an issue with illicit drugs?” Whateley asked the Magpies coach on his SEN program Whateley.
“No, not that I know of,” said the Magpies coach.
“I’m really disappointed that I need to answer these questions from you.”
“This is not something that is big on our agenda right now because it’s isolated. So that’s where it stays and we move on with what we can control. As our football has done our talking this year, our record in retrospect will do the talking, so I’ll be happy to stand on that.”
Collingwood’s culture has come under scrutiny, after a number of drug related issues in recent years.
In 2015, Josh Thomas and Lachlan Keeffe were handed two-year bans after ingesting what they claimed to be clenbuterol-laced cocaine.
In his autobiography, Brownlow Medallist Dane Swan admitted to experimenting with illicit drugs during his playing career.
“I have experimented with what some people call recreational drugs, but have never taken performance-enhancing drugs or what you might call ‘heavy’ drugs,” Swan wrote in his autobiography.
Swan also went on to say that only a small contingent of teammates had also used drugs.
Despite the growing trend, Buckley refuted claims of any issues at the Magpies.
“I’m really happy with where the club is going. I think that we are in a great space and heading in a really positive direction. We are full of people who are fallible and are human and who make mistakes.
“Some of those mistakes are more public than others, but we embrace our humanity and our fallibility and we support our people to the hilt. I think that’s one of the strengths of our football club,” Buckley said.
“If you want to call it culture, we’re not perfect, and we won’t be, but the quest for us to be as good a football team as we can and the quest for us to be the best football club as we can is what we’re on and if we have our imperfections laid to bare and judged externally, well that’s a fair thing for us because we’re in a public forum, but one thing I’m going to do is support and encourage our people as much as we possibly can.”