The AFL has booted Richmond’s Sydney Stack and Callum Coleman-Jones out of the Queensland hub and whacked the strip club breaching Tigers with 10-match bans, that will stretch into 2021.
The Tiges were also fined $100,000 for the incident, which will be included in the club’s soft cap for next season.
A joint investigation by the AFL and Richmond found the pair had broken the AFL’s return to play protocols and an immediate removal from the team’s hub on the Gold Coast was the safest option to avoid further contamination.
“Stack and Coleman-Jones breached the protocols after taking an Uber, visiting a non-approved Gold Coast venue and becoming involved in an incident that involved Queensland Police,” an AFL statement read.
“Stack was detained by police and released a short time after.
“The AFL, in conjunction with the club, investigated the matter and has determined that Stack and Coleman-Jones be immediately sent home and suspended for 10 matches, a suspension that will stretch across both the remainder of the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season, Finals and the start of the 2021 season.
“Richmond Football Club have been fined $100,000 for the breach – $75,000 for this breach and a further $25,000 that was the suspended amount from a previous breach.
“Both players have been isolated since returning to the Richmond HPC early this morning.”
The AFL’s sanctions come after Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk demanded Stack and Coleman-Jones be sent home immediately earlier today.
“AFL players caught breaking COVID rules should be sent home,” she said on Twitter today.
“Queensland won’t tolerate it. I know the AFL takes these issues seriously and will take appropriate action.”
AFL General Counsel Andrew Dillon reiterated the importance to enforce the AFL’s COVID-19 protocols in ensuring the safety of players, families, personnel and the wider Queensland community.
“It is a privilege to be able to continue our competition, and with that privilege comes responsibility. The actions of the players are not only irresponsible but disrespectful to the competition and everyone associated with it.” Mr Dillon said.
“There is simply no excuse for this breach. The two players knew the rules and chose to ignore them, putting the safety of everyone at risk.”
“The behaviour of the players is not what we expect, regardless of whether any protocols are in place or not.”