Johnson case backs AFL view on cocaine - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Johnson case backs AFL view on cocaine

By Sam Lienert 18/05/2010 12:54:56 PM Comments (0)

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou says Fremantle player Michael Johnson's alleged possession of cocaine adds weight to league data of a trend towards stimulant use.

Figures released by the league last week showed that of 14 positive tests under their illicit drugs program last year, 13 were for stimulants such as cocaine, ecstasy and ice.

Demetriou said rather than harming the league's image, Johnson's case just strengthened their existing knowledge and resolve.

"It just again reaffirms, you heard last week our results, we had 14 positives," he told reporters on Tuesday.

"I think you also heard last week that cocaine seemed to be a drug that was on the up in numbers, so it confirms what we know.

"It's exactly why we will reaffirm our commitment to our testing, to our education programs.

"We know that there are players out there who for whatever reason aren't getting the message or have got another issue.

"We will continue to reaffirm the message that there's no place for illicit drugs in our code and there's no place for illicit drugs in the community."

Demetriou said he expected Johnson would receive a strike under the league's "three strikes" policy, although he said the Dockers and the AFL were yet to fully ascertain the facts of the case.

He said the Dockers would be making a public statement later on Tuesday once they knew more about what a West Australian police investigation has uncovered.

"Once that is known, I can assure you that the Fremantle Football Club will be making a public statement, they've committed to doing that and they've committed to making sure we're informed as well," Demetriou said.

"They're treating this matter very seriously, they're very disappointed in the action of Michael Johnson.

"They I'm sure, in consultation with their leadership group, will take action.

"What action that is and to what level, I'm sure they'll determine that after they've got the full facts."

The Dockers are expected to impose a long suspension, similar to Geelong's penalty for Mathew Stokes, who was banned until round eight earlier this year after being found with one gram of cocaine.

Stokes pleaded guilty in court to possession and was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond.

No charges have yet been laid against Johnson.

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