AFL hands Cousins disrepute charge - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL hands Cousins disrepute charge

02/11/2007 08:30:21 PM Comments (0)

The AFL has charged fallen West Coast star Ben Cousins with bringing the game into disrepute, with the commission to hear the charge later this month.

The commission made the decision at a meeting on Friday, with AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou writing to the former Eagles skipper to give him notice to appear at AFL headquarters in Melbourne on November 19.

He has the choice to appear in person, via video conference or have someone appear on his behalf, the AFL said in a statement.

The charge was laid under AFL player rule 1.6, which governs conduct "which is unbecoming or likely to prejudice the interests or reputation of the AFL or to bring the game of football into disrepute".

The AFL did not say whether the charge related to a specific incident involving the 29-year-old, or to his behaviour over a sustained period and said no further comment would be made before the hearing.

Cousins' father Bryan and manager Ricky Nixon were contacted by the AFL late on Friday to advise them of the charge.

Neither Bryan Cousins nor Nixon were able to be contacted for comment.

The commission was already scheduled to meet on November 19 and 20, when it is expected to decide Cousins' playing future and also whether the Eagles will face any disciplinary action over the way they have handled his case.

Demetriou has already said that suggestions Cousins could resume his career any time soon were fanciful.

"He's got much broader issues than just playing football," Demetriou said on Thursday.

"People talking about him playing football are that far away from what the reality is ... he should go and get his life in order."

Bryan Cousins said on Thursday his son was currently receiving treatment in Los Angeles at "an appropriate facility" and would be attending rehabilitation centre The Summit Medical Centre in the next few days.

Cousins was treated at the rehab centre for a substance abuse problem in April, after West Coast suspended him in March.

The Eagles sacked 29-year-old Cousins last month, a day after he was arrested in Perth and charged with possession of an illegal drug and failing to take a blood test.

The possession charge was subsequently dropped, but Cousins must return to Perth Magistrates Court next January to fight the charge of failing to take the blood test.

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