AFL 1 year ago

Swan admission shows AFL drug test 'flaws'

  • Swan admission shows AFL drug test 'flaws'

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 22: Dane Swan of the Magpies in action during the 2015 AFL round 21 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Richmond Tigers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia on August 22, 2015. (Photo by Justine Walker/AFL Media/Getty Images)

AFL legend Kevin Bartlett has taken aim at the league's illicit substances policy after former Collingwood star Dane Swan confirmed he took drugs during his career.

Swan has revealed that, like fellow Brownlow medallist Ben Cousins, he never failed a drug test during his 14 seasons with Collingwood.

Bartlett, a five-time VFL premiership player with Richmond, says the admission shows the AFL is wasting its time enforcing drug tests.

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"All this money we're spending, we've got two Brownlow medallists now who have come out and we know have taken illicit drugs and not one of them has a strike next to his name," he told SEN radio on Monday.

"Why not save all of those millions of dollars and put it into some other avenue of football? Let the AFL clubs look after their own players. They can rub them out or put them through some sort of program."

Under the AFL's illicit drugs policy, players receive a $5000 suspended fine for recording their first strike but are granted anonymity on the condition they receive counselling.

The league announced last year that players who record a second strike will be named and suspended for four matches, with a third strike resulting in a 12-match ban.

Swan, who won the Brownlow medal in 2011, has not revealed which drugs he took during his career or when he took them but denied going out of his way to avoid being tested.

"I never once stated how much I did, when I did it or where I did it," he told AFL trade radio.

"Until people know all the facts, they can only speculate."

Swan retired after suffering a foot injury in the opening minutes of the 2016 season, bringing an end to his 258-game career which included winning a premiership in 2010.

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