Magpies youngster free to play in 2020 after copping 18-month drug ban

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Collingwood defender Sam Murray is free to play in the AFL next season after receiving his punishment for failing a game-day drugs test last year.

The AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal is understood to have handed down an 18-month suspension which would allow Murray to play in round one, 2020.

Murray tested positive to an illicit substance - believed to be cocaine - in July 2018, his debut season in the AFL.

The 21-year-old was investigated by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and had been facing up to a four-year ban.

Sam Murray of the Magpies during training.
Sam Murray runs with the ball during a Collingwood training session on August 16, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Murray had been serving a provisional suspension since last August which was expected to mitigate his sanction.

Collingwood duo Josh Thomas and Lachie Keeffe received two-year doping bans in 2015 after testing positive to the banned substance Clenbuterol.

Keeffe was delisted by the Magpies and picked up by GWS in 2017, while Thomas remains at Collingwood and has played 18 games this season.

The tribunal sat earlier this month to discuss Murray's case which was heard by a former Supreme Court judge.

Murray has remained on the Magpies' rookie list while sidelined but it is unclear whether he will be recontracted next season.

The AFL is expected to issue a statement on Monday afternoon.

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