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Draft picks off the table, but Crows facing heavy penalties for training breach

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11th May, 2020
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The AFL is expected to hand the Adelaide Crows a heavy fine for breaching coronavirus training protocols last week.

Crows players stationed at a Barossa Valley quarantine camp took part in a group training exercise last week.

The club was cautioned by police but has been made to wait for its AFL penalty amid an integrity unit investigation that dragged on through the weekend.

The AFL penalty appears unlikely to include the loss of draft picks or mass suspensions for the players involved.

Gold Coast chief executive and former AFL football operations boss Mark Evans on Sunday declined to forecast the severity of the penalty, but tipped the AFL would use it to send a serious warning to all clubs and players.

“What we are going to see out of this is that everybody is very, very quickly going to get the message,” Evans told ABC Grandstand.

Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks and chief executive Andrew Fagan have repeatedly stressed the Crows’ breach was an honest mistake, but the club has accepted responsibility for it.

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan last week told coaches that players who breached coronavirus protocols faced the prospect of being suspended for the entire 2020 season.

That penalty was never formalised and the AFL Commission will weigh up penalties for future breaches when it meets on Monday.

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The Commission is also set to finalise a return-to-play plan, to be released in the coming days, after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews releases an update to his state’s coronavirus restrictions on Monday.

© AAP