AFL player's unwanted history after breaking virus rules

Brandon Zerk-Thatcher will miss one game for breaching AFL virus rules. Pic: Getty

Essendon's Brandon Zerk-Thatcher is the first AFL player banned for breaking coronavirus protocols as Port Adelaide throw vice-captain Ollie Wines at the mercy of league officials.

Zerk-Thatcher has been banned from playing this weekend as Port await a league sanction after admitting Wines has also broken coronavirus rules.

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Zerk-Thatcher, who has played two AFL games, self-reported to his club and the AFL that he had breached living arrangement protocols.

The exact nature of his breach wasn't detailed in statements from the AFL and Essendon.

The AFL statement said the 21-year-old has been suspended for one match.

"While the player self-reported the matter and was remorseful for his actions, all players and match-day officials need to abide by the protocols," the AFL's general counsel Andrew Dillon said in the statement.

Meanwhile Port is appealing for leniency from the AFL ahead of a ruling on Wines' breach.

Wines gave an interview to a television network on Wednesday outside his house, breaking AFL rules dictating interviews must be held at a player's club or remotely via video links.

Wines could be suspended or fined for what Port's general manager of football Chris Davies described as an "inadvertent" breach.

"Ollie needs to own the fact that it happened," Davies told reporters on Thursday.

Port knew the interview with the Seven Network was scheduled but assumed they would abide by the league's protocols.

"This was a personal deal that Ollie has with that particular news organisation," Davies said.

"The club was aware that the interview was going to happen and so we could have been clearer in terms of knowing where that should have occurred.

"Ollie should have known what the protocols are so this situation should have been avoided ... this is something that we could have done a whole heap better."

Port accept responsibility for Wines breach

Davies said the coronavirus risk from Wines' interview was "no greater than a player going to a supermarket".

"But at the same we also understand it's a breach," he said.

"The AFL will need to deal with what's in front of them and make an assessment.

Port Adelaide's Ollie Wines is being investigated by the AFL after hosting a media interview at his home. Pic: Getty

"We'll make representation in the best regard we possibly can to make sure the circumstances around it are mitigated.

"Ultimately we're not trying to shift blame here. This is something that we could have done better.

"(But) I can't imagine that the AFL need to make examples of anyone."

Wines was barred from Port's training on Thursday morning and would have a test for COVID-19 during the day.

The midfielder won't be allowed at the club until a negative result from the test was known.

"Whether Ollie is playing or not on the weekend, not being able to train today is a significant impact for both the individual and also the team," Davies said.

"He's disappointed ... and he won't be back until we and the AFL are satisfied that he doesn't have anything that is going to impact on anyone else."

Wines missed Port's round-one win as he recovered from a pre-season shoulder dislocation.

He was understood to have been selected for the season resumption. Port will officially announce its team on Thursday night.