Crows still awaiting AFL virus punishment

Steve Larkin

The Adelaide Crows will have to wait to learn details of their penalty from the AFL after breaking South Australia's coronavirus quarantine protocols.

The AFL club was cautioned by police after a group of players and assistant coach Ben Hart, who were meant to be self-isolating in the Barossa Valley, trained together on Thursday.

The Crows are now braced for a financial sanction from the AFL for breaching the league's rules which ban training in groups of more than two players.

The AFL integrity unit had hoped to complete its investigation by Friday but it will now spill into the weekend.

Sixteen Adelaide players and assistant coach Hart are at a golf resort in the Barossa Valley to serve a 14-day quarantine period after returning to SA from interstate.

Two groups of eight players trained together on Thursday but the Crows deny they deliberately set out to circumvent AFL coronavirus protocols.

SA Police investigated whether the Crows broke state rules which ban gatherings of more than 10 people.

SA's Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said under state laws the players and Hart should have remained isolated inside their rooms and not ventured outside.

But police have reportedly opted against further penalties.

"My understanding is it is what you might describe as an honest mistake," Commissioner Stevens told reporters on Friday.

"It is being dealt with as providing advice and education, and this is no different to what we have done to so many other people who have not necessarily complied with their obligations for quarantining.

"At this point, my advice is they are being dealt with in an educative way rather than a punitive way."

The Crows have thrown themselves at the mercy of the AFL by admitting, and apologising, for breaking the league's protocols.

"No-one is out there deliberately trying to flaunt rules," Adelaide's head of football Adam Kelly told SEN SA radio on Friday.

"Quite simply, we have got it wrong and we own our mistake.

"We certainly didn't set out deliberately to break any rules.

"The AFL have been at pains to have the clubs and players and staff understand that during these times, we're training under restriction and we train in pairs only."

The AFL has set the maximum of two players training together while competition has been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"They (the AFL) are very disappointed, as you would expect that they would be," Kelly said.

"The AFL have done a wonderful job in working with all state and territory governments ... they have been at pains to have us understand our obligations, especially around the training protocols.

"This was a mistake that was made and should certainly not be seen as a representation of the broader industry."