Two Adelaide Crows players have reportedly been caught with illicit drugs in the South Australian capital, but will not face charges by police.
Brad Crouch and Tyson Stengle will be at the centre of an investigation launched by the Crows into the incident, which the club made public on Monday afternoon.
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The pair were reportedly stopped in the early hours of Monday morning in the Adelaide CBD and found with illicit drugs, but neither will face any legal consequences.
The latest debacle caps a horror season for the Crows in which they won only three matches and won the wooden spoon.
Both Crouch and Stengle are likely to face unintended consequences for their actions, with the former’s value as a free agent almost certainly impacted, while Stengle is still waiting to enter a plea after being caught drink-driving back in April.
The Crows released a statement addressing the incident on Monday afternoon, with head of football Adam Kelly declaring the affair to be ‘clearly a significant breach of community standards’.
“First and foremost, the alleged conduct is serious and we will continue to ask questions and make sure we have all of the facts before settling on a definitive position going forward,“ Kelly said.
“The Club will also liaise closely with the AFL and AFL Players Association during this process, including working through any consequences under the AFL’s illicit drug policy.
“What is absolutely clear is that all players across the League are well educated about drug use and relevant policies.”
Crouch and Stengle released a statement about the incident, through management agency W Sports and Media, in which both accepted responsibility for their actions.
W Sports & Media provide the following statement on behalf of Brad Crouch and Tyson Stengle. pic.twitter.com/WsXEjptkaz— W Sports & Media (@wsportsandmedia) September 28, 2020
“We acknowledge the statement made by the Adelaide Football Club earlier today,” it read.
“We unconditionally accept responsibility. We accept that our error of judgment is not in-line with community expectations nor the high standards we set for ourselves.
“In this regard, we are committed to the counselling process that SA Police has implemented to manage this and will continue to cooperate with our club as required.
“We will be making no further comments until any club process is concluded.”
Crows to offer support after Crouch, Stengle scandal
Further on in the Crows’ statement, Kelly said ensuring both players received support following their error was critical.
“As an organisation, we take a very strong stance against any behaviour of this kind,” he said.
“The wellbeing of Brad and Tyson is also paramount and we will make sure they receive appropriate support.”
Very dumb by Crouch. Geelong and Port are poised to offer big money. They’re going to look at this alleged incident and ask real questions.— Tom Browne (@TomBrowne7) September 28, 2020
The scandal comes as the AFL prepares for the finals to get underway, bringing to a conclusion the coronavirus-impacted season.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan is thrilled a season he feared may never have restarted is about to enter finals but he's warning the job's not done yet.
McLachlan officially launched this year's finals campaign at a sun-soaked Brisbane hotel, reflecting Queensland's status as the home of the competition during a remarkable year.
Just being in position to hold a finals series looked impossible in March when the competition was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since then teams and staff have been uprooted and moved interstate from across the country to complete a campaign which will end with the first AFL/VFL grand final outside Victoria on October 24.
McLachlan said whoever secures this year's premiership will be a deserving champion.
"The team that wins the premiership will go down as one of the all-time greats - and I sincerely believe that - for they will achieve success in what will go down as one of the most challenging seasons in the history of our game," McLachlan said.
The AFL CEO was flanked at Monday's launch by Brisbane Lions' great Simon Black, who will be presenting the premiership cup to the winning team.
Dual premiership player Byron Pickett will present the Norm Smith Medal with legendary coaching figure Malcolm Blight to hand over the Jock McHale Medal to the premiership-winning coach.
This weekend's finals series will start with sold-out crowds in Adelaide (24,000), Perth (35,000) and Brisbane (28,000).
With AAP/Ed Jackson
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