Ben Cousins during his west Coast days. Picture: Michael Dodge .

Former West Coast Coach Mick Malthouse has revealed on SEN that he was shocked when he found out that Ben Cousins’ drug habit began when he was coach of the Eagles.

Malthouse said he did not once suspect that Cousins was taking illicit drugs during his reign as coach, where he took the Eagles to two Premierships.

“I am probably as naive (to drugs) as anyone because even when I’ve come over here to coach Collingwood and then they said about Ben Cousins I mean I was first of all absolutely shocked, totally shocked” Malthouse said on SEN on Tuesday morning.

“And then when he did his interview and he said I started dabbling in 1996 or 1997 or whenever it was, I was coaching then. I didn’t know that.

“Why didn’t I know that?

“But I don’t know if all the players knew that and if they did no one was talking.”

Malthouse also said he couldn’t understand why players would run the risk of taking either illicit or performance enhancing drugs.

“We’re naïve if we think they don’t take drugs through the off-season…but I think both are madness, both are absolute madness and I might be old hat but I’m saying that they’re bloody stupid,” Malthouse said.

The AFL is currently reviewing its illicit drugs policy.