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Allegations of Illicit Drug Testing Scandal Rock AFL and Melbourne Demons



Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has sparked controversy by accusing the Melbourne Demons and the AFL of engaging in illicit drug testing misconduct.

During a parliamentary session, Wilkie shared allegations from former Melbourne Demons officials Glen Bartlett and Zeeshan Arain, as well as Shaun Smith, the father of player Joel Smith.

Wilkie claimed that off-the-books drug testing at Dorevitch Pathology in Heidelberg was facilitated by former AFL chief medical officer Peter Harcourt, revealing a potential scandal within the league.

The claims suggested that players who tested positive for illicit drugs were advised to fake injuries to conceal their results from official bodies like Sports Integrity Australia and WADA.

AFL CEO Andrew Dillon responded to the accusations by emphasizing the league’s illicit drugs policy and the priority of player welfare.

Former player Shaun Smith supported Wilkie’s claims, deeming it a widespread issue in the AFL and accusing the league of creating an unsafe work environment.

Current Melbourne Demons coach Simon Goodwin expressed surprise at the allegations, affirming his trust in the club’s medical staff.

Dr. Arain’s dismissal from the club in 2020 and Glen Bartlett’s legal action further accentuate the gravity of the situation.

Wilkie called on Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to intervene and investigate the claims, urging a thorough review of the AFL’s handling of drug-related issues.

SIA announced that they had commenced an assessment of the allegations, further intensifying the scrutiny on the AFL’s drug testing practices.

Despite the AFL’s denial of a drug problem, the scandal has stirred significant debate within the sporting community, calling into question the integrity of the league and its policies.

Rachel Adams

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