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Whistleblower Accuses AFL and Melbourne Demons of Illicit Drug Test Evasion Scheme

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Whistleblower Accuses Afl And Melbourne Demons Of Illicit Drug Test Evasion Scheme

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has sparked controversy by alleging serious misconduct within the Australian Football League (AFL) and the Melbourne Demons club. The claims, brought forward by former Melbourne Demons figures including Glen Bartlett, Zeeshan Arain, and Shaun Smith, have unveiled a troubling narrative surrounding drug abuse and secret illicit drug tests.

Wilkie, speaking in parliament, outlined a narrative of off-the-books drug testing at Dorevitch Pathology, allegedly orchestrated by ex-AFL chief medical officer Peter Harcourt. The accusations suggest players who tested positive for illicit substances were advised to feign injuries to conceal their results, with the AFL officials purportedly concealing these findings.

The AFL, in response, defended its Illicit Drugs Policy while emphasizing player welfare as a primary focus. The league confirmed the existence of urine tests to detect illicit substance usage and expressed ongoing efforts to enhance their policy with the AFL Players Association.

Melbourne Football Club coach Simon Goodwin expressed surprise at the allegations, distancing himself from any knowledge of such practices within the club. Dr. Arain’s dismissal in 2020 after voicing concerns about the club’s culture, and Bartlett’s resignation amid legal action against the club, added further intrigue to the unfolding controversy.

Wilkie’s speech drew attention to the abrupt removal of Bartlett after suggesting mandatory drug testing for AFL executives. The MP urged Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to review the provided documents and safeguard the sport’s reputation, indicating the issue was not isolated to Melbourne but a broader concern across the AFL.

The documents in Wilkie’s possession shed light on a purported hesitance by senior AFL officials to address drug abuse among players and executives, particularly tied to cocaine usage. The claims underscore a wider narrative of evasive practices and systemic challenges within the professional sporting realm.

Rachel Adams

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