Adelaide Crows players Brad Crouch and Tyson Stengle have been caught with illicit drugs and face fines and possible suspension from the AFL.
Crouch and Stengle were stopped and searched by police early Monday morning in inner Adelaide.
Police won’t charge the pair but have referred them to counselling, the Crows say.
But Crouch, a newly-turned free agent weighing offers to join rival clubs, and Stengle, who the Crows banned earlier in the year for drink-driving, face certain sanctions from their club and the league.
The Crows and police didn’t detail the specific substance found on the pair.
“The alleged conduct is serious and we will continue to ask questions and make sure we have all of the facts before settling on a definitive position going forward,” Adelaide’s head of football Adam Kelly said in a statement.
“The club will also liaise closely with the AFL and AFL Players Association during this process, including working through any consequences under the AFL’s illicit drug policy.
“What is absolutely clear is that all players across the league are well educated about drug use and relevant policies.
“As an organisation, we take a very strong stance against any behaviour of this kind.”
Kelly said the Crows understood neither player would be charged by police.
Stengle in April was banned by the Crows for four games after police caught him drink driving and driving an unregistered car.
The 21-year-old was due to appear in Adelaide Magistrates Court next month to answer those charges.
Crouch has fallen off contract with the Crows, becoming a free agent when Adelaide’s season ended nine days ago.
Crouch, Adelaide’s 2019 club champion, was to have met with Crows management this week to decide his future.
But he and Stengle now face fines of up to $5000 among other sanctions.
Under the AFL’s drugs policy, a player is issued a strike when found to possess or use an illicit drug or returns a positive test for such substances.
A player will receive a $5000 fine for a first strike while also undergoing counselling and target testing.
In the event of a second strike, a player’s name is made public and he is suspended for four games. A third strike incurs a 12-match suspension.
An anti-doping violation, leading to year-long bans, is only issued when a player tests positive to illicit drugs on a match-day.