Demons boss calls for Cousins sanction - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Demons boss calls for Cousins sanction

26/04/2007 11:17:12 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne chairman Paul Gardner has called on the AFL to sanction West Coast star Ben Cousins for his drug use.

The Brownlow Medallist is set to return to Perth in the next few days after drug rehabilitation in California.

His father Bryan admitted Cousins had a substance abuse problem last month, before the star midfielder left the country.

"(He is) a highly-paid superstar of the AFL," Gardner told Channel Nine's The Footy Show.

"In many ways, he's a lot luckier than the poor kids who live on street corners, have the same addiction (and) have to rob houses or threaten old people to get the money to pay for that.

"In some ways he's privileged and in some ways he's abused that privilege.

"Should he play again? I don't know - the sanctions need to apply to a person who's admitted that he's taken drugs.

"Regardless of being caught or not, he's admitted that he should have been caught ... that's a pretty serious crime in my eyes."

West Coast has suspended Cousins indefinitely because of his off-field behaviour.

The AFL commission will meet with senior Eagles officials and players on Sunday to discuss a range of off-field issues at the club, with Cousins high on the agenda.

Gardner added he hoped Cousins could return to playing.

"He's a terrific player and I only hope he comes back bigger and better," he said.

Meanwhile, Gardner accused Fremantle midfielder Des Headland of inciting Melbourne fans during Sunday's game at the MCG.

A few days after the tribunal acquitted him of striking charges stemming from a sledging incident, Headland patted the tattoo on his left shoulder during the game.

Demons fans booed Headland during the match.

Headland has received some praise for gesturing to his tattoo, but Gardner disagreed.

"I thought he did (incite them), without a shadow of a doubt - he was probably lucky there were only 16,000 of them there," Gardner said.

"It was potentially inciteful and a potentially dangerous situation."

Also on Thursday night, The Footy Show claimed the AFL had fined Melbourne $7500 after one of its runners made contact with Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands last Sunday at the MCG.

The AFL was unavailable for comment.

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