Jack Ginnivan exposes 'uncomfortable' truth in shock AFL drug scandal
The Collingwood young gun has shed light on a shock drug confession that has rocked the AFL.
Collingwood's Jack Ginnivan says he was filmed with an illicit substance in a private bathroom before confessing to drug use on Saturday. The young gun was deeply remorseful and apologised for his "poor decision-making" after being suspended for the opening two rounds of the AFL season for illicit drug use.
The incident occurred on a players' day off in January after the Magpies' pre-season training camp on Victoria's Surf Coast. The 20-year-old admitted he was in the wrong but revealed that a member of the public had filmed him over the door of a private bathroom, in an incident he described as "uncomfortable".
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“When I walked into the bathroom I didn’t think someone would be videoing me,” he told the Seven Network. “It’s obviously a private place. I know I can imagine anyone else being videoed in a bathroom (would) feel pretty uncomfortable.”
Ginnivan said regardless of how the video was obtained of him partaking in illicit drug use, he was determined to take ownership and responsibility for his mistake. The young gun said in a statement released by Collingwood on Saturday, that he was devastated to have let his teammates, the club and its fans down.
"I want to take ownership of my actions in the vision which shows me with an illicit substance," Ginnivan said in the Collingwood statement. "I understand that as an AFL player I have standards I need to meet and, on this occasion, I have fallen well short of the standards expected of me as a footballer and as a representative of Collingwood."
Collingwood Football Club has been hit by a drugs bombshell. Star Jack Ginnivan confessing to using an illicit substance. The 20-year-old is now facing AFL sanctions. Ginnivan spoke to 7NEWS as part of a special investigation. @NickMcCallum7 @TomBrowne7 @cleary_mitch #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/gygOSopdfF
— 7NEWS Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) February 18, 2023
The livewire forward is banned from playing against Geelong and Port Adelaide in rounds one and two, and will not be eligible to play in any of Collingwood's scheduled practice matches. Ginnivan kicked 40 goals in a breakout second season in 2022, playing a key role in the Magpies' stunning rise to a preliminary final in coach Craig McRae's first campaign at the helm.
Ginnivan has often found himself in the spotlight since his debut in 2021 and won the Anzac Day Medal for a stunning five-goal performance against Essendon last year. He has also come under fire for ducking his head to draw free kicks and admitted last year the fierce scrutiny on his approach to the game had taken a toll on his mental health.
The 20-year-old said he was "truly sorry" for his actions and told the Seven Network that his poor decision-making was a combination of "a few drinks and a lack of judgement". He added in the statement: "I have made mistakes along the way and I'm determined to learn from them in order to be the best person and footballer I can be to avoid letting people down, which is what I have done here."
Collingwood 'disappointed' by Jack Ginnivan's actions
Collingwood football boss Graham Wright said the club was "incredibly disappointed" in Ginnivan's drug use. He said players were fully aware of what was expected of them at the footy club, but praised Ginnivan for owning his mistakes and said he would be given the full support of the club.
"All players and staff are continually educated on appropriate behaviours and we expect everyone at our club to uphold the highest of standards as representatives of the wider Collingwood community, our members, supporters and corporate partners," Wright said in the club statement. "We will continue to work closely with Jack, who has owned his behaviour, to provide him with the support and continual education he needs as he continues his journey at Collingwood."
On top of his playing ban, Ginnivan has also been hit with a $5000 suspended fine. He will not be eligible for VFL selection during the suspension.
The AFL said Ginnivan will be required to undertake further education above the current league-mandated training on illicit substances and their effects. "The AFL wishes to reiterate that AFL players are well-educated when it comes to the harms associated with the use of illicit substances," AFL executive member Andrew Dillon said in a league statement.
"(They) have a responsibility to themselves, their clubs and their professional careers to uphold community expectations."
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