Recreational drug use amongst players in the AFL is out of control according to reports from several journalists, one of whom hasn’t been to sleep since January and another who struggled to type his article after biting off all his fingernails, Australian Sports Weakly has heard.
Prompted by recent incidents involving candid recordings of players engaging in drug-related activities, including Port Adelaide’s Jack Watts and Greater Western Sydney’s Shane Mumford, several AFL journalists have been investigating how wide spread drug use in the league by asking their dealers for lists of their clients’ names. It is understood that several reporters are shocked by how many players appear to be involved.
One journalist source, who shall remain anonymous, says he was “taken aback” by the revelations.
“It’s a much larger issue than we first thought,” said the nameless journo.
“Not only are we seeing names from nearly every club, but several of them get way better prices per gram than anyone at my newspaper.
“We know it’s not a regulated industry but something desperately needs to be done about it. I’m losing about half my paycheck each fortnight and it’s just not fair.”
Former St Kilda coach Grant Thomas said this week that he thought drug use was “rife” in the AFL, drawing on his experience with players in 2006.
“I’d be amazingly surprised if people have pulled their head in. You hear regularly different rumours about different players,” Thomas said.
“It’s just not reported. It’s not something the media talk about.
“I just find it really disturbing and a great concern and I don’t know that enough is being done about it.”
While former player under Thomas, Nick Dal Santo, refuted his former coach’s claims.
“I didn’t see it. Yes, we drank... but I didn’t see drugs. It wasn’t part of our culture with that particular playing group,” said Dal Santo.
“It would be naive of me to say no one at St Kilda was doing it, but rife makes me think it’s the majority, that’s 20 to 25 players, I can’t see that.”
Australian Sports Weakly understands that Dal Santo was right to be sceptical of Grant Thomas’s claims.
“There’s no way that 20 to 25 players on their list were doing it,” said our faceless source.
“It was not ‘rife’.
“By the way, can we just confirm that ‘rife’ begins at 20 players? We can? Good. Then like I said, it wasn’t ‘rife’.”
When asked if any AFL staff or management were on any of the drug dealers’ lists, the journalist was hesitant to confirm anything outright.
“I can’t say anyone’s names, but we all saw AFLX didn’t we? That idea didn’t just come out of someone’s fever dream, did it?”
Australian Sports Weakly will continue to follow the story.