Cousins must prove he's clean for WAFL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cousins must prove he's clean for WAFL

By Tim Clarke 12/12/2007 04:40:52 PM Comments (0)

If Ben Cousins wants to play in the West Australian Football League next year, he will have to provide medical proof he has overcome his drug addiction.

After a meeting of the WA Football Commission on Tuesday night, the league issued a statement confirming the disgraced former West Coast Eagles captain was not suspended from playing in the league.

However, if the Brownlow medallist does want to resurrect his career with a WAFL club, he will have to show medical proof he has kicked his drug habit, and then put his case in person.

"The West Australian Football Commission considered the issue of whether or not Ben Cousins should play in the WAFL competition," the statement said.

"Whilst Ben Cousins is not suspended from the WAFL at this time, the WAFC considers it appropriate that he should only return to the WAFL once he has overcome his illness fully, and there is appropriate medical advice to support this.

"If or when the time comes, it is the Commission's view that Ben should be given the appropriate opportunity to put his case in respect of these matters.

"The WAFL should then consider his registration after due consideration of the issue."

Cousins is suspended from the AFL next season, after being found guilty by the league commission of bringing the game into disrepute.

That decision followed his sacking from the Eagles after his shirtless arrest on drugs charges, which led to a court appearance and then a humiliating backdown from WA police who dropped both charges.

The former Eagles skipper will be eligible to resume his AFL career in 2009, via the draft, as long as league bosses are satisfied his rehabilitation is progressing.

Cousins however is allowed to play in any other level of football because an AFL Commission suspension does not relate to on-field misdemeanours.

Through his management, the disgraced star has previously said that whether he was allowed to play in the WAFL would have no bearing on his footballing future.

"Ben Cousins will not be making a decision on his playing future until well into 2008," the statement said.

"Any decision made by the West Australian Football Commission relating to Cousins return to the WAFL in 2008 will have no bearing on his playing future."

East Fremantle has reportedly expressed interest in taking Cousins if he wants to play, while reports suggest at least two other WAFL clubs could bid for his services.

But WA premier Alan Carpenter and sports minister John Kobelke both said Cousins should be shut out of the WAFL next year.

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