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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ben Cousins Arrested and Sacked for Drugs

West Coast Eagle's great Ben Cousins has fulfilled all our expectations with a spectacular flame-out that has left the football world reeling. He was arrested by detectives in Perth, charged with drug offences and then promptly sacked by his club. While he has thrown away his $800K/year career, he can now indulge freely in his great love - drug-taking.

It hardly came as a surprise. The weeks after the finals are traditionally a time for footballers to get a little crazy. Maybe take some extra risks. For Cousins, the temptation was just too great.


Cousins' A Goner.
Source: Daily Telegraph.


Here's how Ben Cousins' horror day, October 16th, 2007, played out:

In a statement, police said they stopped Cousins' vehicle on Newcastle St, Perth around 11.30am after he came to their attention "due to the manner of his driving".

They allegedly found a quantity of prohibited drugs after searching the four-wheel drive vehicle.

The 29-year-old West Coast Eagles' midfielder was taken for questioning to the Traffic Enforcement Group headquarters in East Perth.

Police will allege Cousins failed to provide a sample of his blood for analysis.

Nine Network television footage showed Cousins, shirtless, being led by a detective from his vehicle to a police car, where he sat in the back seat between two officers. (The Daily Telegraph, 16/10/2007)


If you want the gory details, here's the video footage of Cousins' Walk of Shame:



Cousins' car was searched and some prescription drugs (Valium) was found. Cousins does not have a prescription for the drug, commonly used to soften the come down from crystal meth and ecstasy. Cousins refused to take a driving competency test or provide a saliva sample for drug testing.

Interestingly, Cousins was not so shy about the AFL drug tests. He passed 14 of them, despite having a raging "substance abuse problem" costing a reported $3000 per week. There are mixed reports about whether or not he asked for - and passed - a test following the death of former Weagle and mentor Chris Mainwaring. Cousins had visited the troubled "Mainy" twice in the hours before his death and Mainwaring's toxicology report revealed a cocktail of drugs, including cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, anti-depressants and alcohol.

If Cousins has been using illicit drugs, I'm not surprised he refused a drugs test by WA police. After all, the police will not give you a week's notice before the test. Nor will they accept "sorry, can't provide a sample right now" as an excuse - unlike certain other drugs testers.

Also in Cousins' car were two young women - described as "scantily clad" - but it's not yet clear what charges they may face, if any. At the same time, his out-of-contract team mate Daniel Chick was also pulled over and investigated. A passenger in this vehicle, Nathan Greaves, has been charged with possession of cocaine and cannabis following a search of his house. Methamphetamines and "drug paraphernalia" (presumably various glass pipes and/or scales and baggies) were also found.

It looks a lot like this cosy little par-tay was interrupted by the police. The predictable whiners and apologists over at the Big Footy forum had the usual mix of conspiracy theories and heads-in-the-sand, decrying this as a "sting operation" targeting Cousins and a waste of public resources. Here's a tip kids: if you wander into the middle of a drugs sweep in your pimp-wagon and drive erratically, you'll get pulled. What's more, getting drug-affected motorists off the road is a good use of our tax dollars, regardless of how wealthy, famous or talented they are.

It seems certain that Cousins will never play professional footy again. He was already on a strict contract with the club following his very public fall from grace in March this year, triggering an expensive - but ultimately ineffective - bout of rehab. It was always doomed to failure, requiring him to, amongst things, avoid underworld figures. (Technically, just turning up to training with the West Coast Illegals constituted a breach of this clause.) His half-arsed "public apology" was that of an unrepentant man.

While his time at the top has been relatively short, he packed a lot in. Brawling with Daniel Kerr. Giving advice (along with Michael Gardiner) to outlaw motorcycle gangs over their nightclub shootings. Fleeing a booze bus on foot. Collapsing out the front of a casino late at night. These are the sorts of punk-acts that he will be remembered as throwing away his career over: an arrogant spoilt brat who believed all his own hype and, in the end, wasn't big enough where it counted.

Ben Cousins had the whole world at his feet. A good-looking rich kid with a staggering talent for footy. Adoration from millions of fans. A salary 20 times greater than others his age. The highest awards from the game, including the Brownlow Medal. He had been given "one last chance" so many times that his club was a joke. So keen were they to ensure his brilliance continued despite the damage, the League had to step in and threaten to take away premiership points to get them to act.

Well, they've finally done it. They tried everything to look the other way but, coming on top of Mainwaring's death just two weeks ago and lost sponsors, they just ran out of ladder and had to let Cousins drop. Even the players' union, under Brendon Gale, have washed their hands of him.

That a selfish drug culture has been allowed to flourish in Perth is undeniable. Many former players and leaders are calling for further action for club officials. Here at The Speccy, we're calling for an inquiry into the AFL's drug problem by an independent retired judicial figure - at the AFL's expense, not the taxpayers'. The outcome of this inquiry should determine what's happened and who's responsible before making recommendations for drug policy reform in the League.

The AFL cannot afford to wait for further careers to be destroyed - yet alone lives lost - before acting.

*** UPDATE ***

Cousins has had his (first) day in court and been allowed out on bail:

In a brief court appearance, Cousins was remanded on bail for 90 days to reappear in the same court on January 21 to face charges of drug possession and refusing to undergo a driver assessment.

Lawyer for Cousins, Shane Brennan, told the court had had spoken to police prosecutors who had agreed to the long adjournment. (The West Australian, 18/10/2007)


He is now free to return to $5,000/day rehab in the US. One can only presume that the court decided it's safe for him to leave the country on the grounds that all his drug dealers are here.

*** UPDATE ***

News services are reporting that the possession charge against Ben Cousins has been dropped. It's not yet clear if Cousins actually "found" a prescription for his Valium or if former team-mate and sparring partner Daniel Kerr (who has a conviction for fraudulently passing a Valium script) kindly sourced one for him. Or, maybe, rich people just don't need scripts?

In any case, his charge of refusing to subject himself to a drug test is proceeding:

[The West Coast Eagles] released a statement that it had been informed by the West Australian police that the charge of being in possession of a prohibited substance had been dropped.

The club noted however that, "this does not change the club position or the decision made on Wednesday to terminate Ben's contract because of repeated and serious breaches to his agreement with the club". (Sportal, 19/10/2007)


Here's more juicy details about what was found in his car, including the suggestion of "hammerheading" or (groan) "sextasy" - combining Viagra with ecstasy:

They say other drugs were found in the car including the prohibited pain-killer, OxyContin, Viagra and an anti-depressant.

A $20 note with traces of cocaine and MDMA or ecstasy, was also found on one of the passengers in Cousins' car. (ABC, 19/10/2007)


Quite the little party for a Tuesday morning, wouldn't you say? Doesn't really change much since the possession charge was always going to be tricky; all that coke and dope were carefully stashed in the other car. Not that it was Benny's gear. I mean, who on earth would leave their precious stash in Daniel Chick's car?

*** UPDATE ***

Rumours of Ben Cousins' five-day cocaine binge in LA have been confirmed. News media are reporting that he was hospitalised, after a friend, software sales manager Susie Ella, made an emergency 911 call at 5am:

THE emergency early morning call to the Hermosa Beach Police Department last week described a 29-year-old man "on cocaine not acting right". Later, the caller added, the man "has been on cocaine for the past five days".

...

The Herald has confirmed that Cousins was admitted to the Little Company of Mary hospital, in the adjoining suburb of Torrance, soon after the emergency call. Cousins remained at the hospital for two days before being discharged on Friday, November 2.

...

It described Cousins as "not acting right, is conscious and breathing". She told the operator Cousins had been on cocaine for the previous five days. She said he was "not being violent, is just scared". (SMH, 10/11/2007)


Absent a PR firm on retainer, Cousins' poor old dad Bryan was left to do the spinning while Cousins was on a coke bender and being rushed to hospital. Of more concern is that allegation that he spent a couple of nights in Sydney with the notorious Michael Gardiner - hardly the actions of a man hell-bent on getting clean.

I suspected that his "network" in LA might consist of anyone with cocaine. While this is a large group - especially in Los Angeles - I didn't think that he would end up hanging with the IT crowd. As the Yanks say - go figure.

*** UPDATE ***

In a startling admission of the impact Ben Cousins has on his team-mates, former West Coast player Glen Jakovich has spoken up about his relief at seeing Cousins sacked:

"Players will excel because the Cousins factor is gone," Jakovich said. "I truly believe players, young and older, felt intimidated by Cousins while he was in an unfit state to engage in training and team requirements.

"You can't win a premiership if things are not right off the field. It ruins team morale. (Herald-Sun, 13/1/2008)


We hear of phenomena like amphetamine psychosis and, from watching US reality crime show Cops, it looks very frightening. So while Cousins isn't a large man by any stretch, it's disturbing to think he could still intimidate the huge players in a violence-prone club like West Coast.

I guess this is one more reason to get serious about drug testing in the AFL. Those players who opt out of footy's drug culture shouldn't have to put up with intimidation by their colleagues.

Citations: The Daily Telegraph, 16/10/2007; The West Australian, 18/10/2007; Sportal, 19/10/2007; ABC, 19/10/2007; SMH, 10/11/2007; Herald-Sun, 13/1/2008



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29 Comments:

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  • Its a real shame that a young man has thrown his a career away but he knew the risks and its sad that he either choose not to or couldn't get out of that culture.

    While you on enquires, any chance you could call for one on the media? Channel 7 had one of the high profile employees die with a drug cocktail in his system and yet no spotlight is being pointed at them. Thank god no AFL players have died yet (to my knowledge) and yet the AFL have taken steps to help stop their players being court in the blight on Society that is illicit drugs. When are the media going to do something?

    Molly

    By Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone, at 9:52 am, October 18, 2007  

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  • Don't worry, Molly. There'll be scrutiny of Mainwaring's life and death too. For Christ's sake, his family just put his body on the ground last week. Plus, the toxicology reports only got back yesterday.

    Can I ask: as a fanboi, don't you feel just a teensy bit complicit in "that culture" that allows so many of these dickheads to get away with blue murder? Doesn't all that fawning and hero worship and win-at-any-cost mindset you send their way kind of accumulate and result in the god-mentality that brings them unstuck?

    I'm not saying you've done more or less than most, but, as a fan and public apologist for the AFL, do you see it that way too?

    By Blogger Greg, at 11:44 am, October 18, 2007  

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  • See and this is the thing, I don't see that they are letting them get away with "Blue Murder'. I see that they have consulted with the best minds in this area and are trying to help their employees firstly not get involved in the culture and if they do, to help them get out of the culture.

    It really annoys me that the Pollies pick on the AFL and just ignore the fact that the AFL is doing something when many (including themselves) are doing nothing.

    Whether the "hero worshiping" leads to a "god-mentality", I don't think this is the reason that they get involved in drugs. There was recently a raid of rave party that nab plenty of people (not necessarily AFL players, in fact I don't think there was any). Do they have a "god-mentality"? Probably not. There probably just young and stupid, much like a lot of AFL players.

    The AFL have the same problem as the rest of Scociety and have to try their best to do the right thing, because its the right thing and not do things because the public want them to do it!

    JMTC
    Molly

    By Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone, at 2:19 pm, October 18, 2007  

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  • If they're not letting them get away with murder Molly then at what point should the Club or the AFL have intervened in this list:

    THE WILD WEST

    MARCH 2002■Ben Cousins and Michael Gardiner, who socialise with convicted heroin trafficker John Kizon, are cleared in a club inquiry after claims they had been caught in a police sting allegedly ordering cocaine.

    SEPTEMBER 2002■Cousins punches Daniel Kerr at the Eagles' best and fairest celebrations. Cousins breaks arm falling down stairs.

    AUGUST 2004■Kerr pleads guilty to unlicensed driving.

    OCTOBER 2004■Kerr is fined $400 for forging Valium prescriptions.

    MAY 2005■Cousins and Gardiner refuse to answer police questions about a phone call to a bikie after a Perth nightclub shooting.

    FEBRUARY 2006■Cousins runs from a booze bus in Perth and stands down from captaincy. Gardiner is dumped from West Coast's leadership group after an alcohol-related incident .

    JULY 2006■Gardiner is suspended indefinitely after crashing his car.

    DECEMBER 2006■Cousins is arrested for drunkenness outside Crown Casino.

    JANUARY 2007■Kerr and his father, Roger, are charged with assaulting three people at a party in Perth.

    FEBRUARY 2007■A drunk Kerr is fined $1500 for assaulting a taxi driver.

    MARCH 2007■It is revealed alcohol was behind midfielder Chad Fletcher's near-fatal collapse in Las Vegas in September 2006.

    MARCH 18, 2007■Daniel Chick and Andrew Embley fight after Cousins splits from girlfriend.

    MARCH 20, 2007■Cousins is suspended after failing a drug test. Flies to US for drug rehabilitation.

    OCTOBER 1■Former Eagle Chris Mainwaring dies at home in Perth after taking drugs. Cousins, who visited Mainwaring twice that night, tests negative for drugs.


    That is just one club and far from a complete list, there has been the "stolen medical records" fiasco that culminated in the AFL taking court action to protect the identity of criminal offenders. That implicated at least 7 players.

    Was it Dale Lewis that was shoted down for suggesting that a drug culture was prevalent throughout the AFL?

    It's time to remove the blinkers Molly, your game is suffering through the actions of a selfish and rather large minority.

    Your attempts to deflect the attention to other groups just does not wash, how many kids have posters of barristers, reporters or rave attendees on their wall?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:30 pm, October 18, 2007  

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  • Anonymous(if that is your real name).
    Firstly, I don't know that you are correct with your entry for the 20 march 2007. I never heard he failed a drug test. Do you have a source for this? If it was an AFL test, the club wouldn't have know and the AFL wouldn't have known and if it was a Police test it would have been every where.

    And thats the issue. A lot of the stuff that happen was not handled well by the Eagles but a lot of it was also done with out giving the club an oppertunity to do anything.

    You want the club to step in over to men having a blue? Come on!

    Lewis was shot down for saying 70% not that there was some using drugs. The AFL proved that there were players using drugs and did something about it, not like other sports that haven't looked. Are they scared at what they might find? And what about the media? And Pollies while we are at. They don't seem so keen to apply their rules on themselves or there staff but that is going off point (as you mention). But I have to touch on the Lawyers remark. Are you serious? You mean your happy for the protectors of Justice to be hitting up before or after trying a case but not for a 19 year old that can kick a ball well? Now who is hero worshiping?

    And blinkers, what Blinkers? There is a problem in the community and the AFL is part of the Community! Its not deflecting to say others have the problem, its the truth.

    On the stolen medical documents, to me they are proof that the AFL are trying to help and do something about the problem rather then just throwing words around like the Sports minister is (glad he won't be around long). If the government did their job and kept the drugs off the street, it wouldn't matter if the players want to use or not. And if its such a problem in the AFL, why aren't more players being caught by the police?

    And on the AFL suffering. It is sad to see that even one player gets effected by drugs, but to say the AFL is suffering is laughable! Most clubs are going to make record profits and the game had its best attended and watched year of all time. So how is it suffering again? This isn't saying ignore the drug taking but it says the majority of people support the AFL for the Football. If the media didn't make such a big issue of the drugs, no one would even know. So why don't the media stop reporting it if it is the effect it has on the kids that we are worried about?

    Thanks for the comments, and maybe next time you will have the guts to put a name to your comments!

    Mollyduncan

    By Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone, at 4:36 pm, October 18, 2007  

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  • Just to explain as I understand it (and this is in no way saying its right or not or that I support it just giving you the information you might not have (or you might not share with your readers)) the reason the charge was/will be dropped is that for the drug to be illegal it has to be in liquid form (or vice versa).

    Also (and I definitely don't support this idea/reason) I believe Cousins lawyer said that the drug testing law is like a week or so old and that was the reason that Cousins didn't do it. Now that is a lame excuse and I would be surprised if Cousins New (or should that now be old) contract would have had a clause saying he couldn't decline a drug test.

    HTH
    Molly

    By Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone, at 7:23 pm, October 20, 2007  

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  • It is sadly predictable, a death and the fall of a star. It can all be traced back to the AFL and their slack attitude to drugs. Ad has been in France and is rushing back. No doubt he must of been relieved watching a code of football that has not only kept it's commercial relevance, but also its dignity. The AFL is letting these mindless tin idols destroy the credibility of the game. AD and Brendon Gale should resign. They have brought the game into disripute as much as Ben Cousins. The whole thing is pathetic. Let's see what happens. My bet is that they will isolate the Eagles and punish them. The real criminals are the pathetic administrators. Molly I hope you are on drugs!! At least you then have an excuse for your myopia.

    By Blogger Simon, at 8:48 pm, October 22, 2007  

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  • Hahaha. Simon, are you a comedian? I haven't heard one eye witness, one person even suggest that the AFL is dealing drugs! So how can you blame the AFL. And if you blame the AFL for not taking action, what about all the other sports that have NO POLICY!

    And the "credibility" of the game is so destroyed that they have had their most successful year of all time (as far as ratings, revenue, attendance, interest, etc) even with the problems that they have had with off-field matters. And there is no sense that this will change next year either.

    And on who the "real criminals" are, I would more think the Drug Dealers are the "real criminals ". To suggest AD or Gale are is silly and invalidates anything else that you have to say. But lets say your right, what about Howard and the rest of Libral party that haven't got the Societies use of drugs under control either. What about Channel 7 that had one of their presenters die of what looks like drug related issues? Especially the news department at Seven who is led by a convicted Drunk Driver! That is more criminal then trying to help out your employees!

    Molly
    PS. But at least Simon, you put your name to your silly comments. Good for you!

    By Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone, at 4:43 pm, October 23, 2007  

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  • oh yes, if it is popular then everything is justified. AD's slackness on drug testing and Brendon Gale's defence of criminal activities by his members have hugely contributed to the AFL situation. Drunk driving is a private matter and doesn't really effect a head of news ability to do his job. Part of an AFL players job is not to bring the game into disripute. It is not a relevant comparison. Enjoy your bubble

    By Blogger Simon, at 8:23 pm, October 23, 2007  

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  • Simon, are you taking the mikey out of me by writing the stupidest thing you can to see if people think your serious?

    Okay, I get the joke. Good one.

    There is no way you can honestly try to argue that a news director getting catch Drink drive is not public!

    And when you say "AD's slackness on drug testing" are you talking about the fact that he has got the organisation he is in charge of testing its players when no one else does (well until 2007)?

    Oh, and if you are serious, perhaps you could explain to all the people that have lost their lives because of drunk drivers that its none of their business and that its private to the drink driver and doesn't effect a news director but if an AFL Player using drugs in the privacy of their own home is the devil because it might "bring the game into disripute".

    I do sort of agree with you when you said "It is not a relevant comparison". In my opinion neither is a good situation but I know which I think is worse.

    Molly

    By Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone, at 9:54 pm, October 23, 2007  

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  • Clearly, Peter Meakin is a pisshead and he should not be drink-driving. That any investors would entrust him - or his directors, for that matter - with their money when he has repeatedly demonstrated such a lack of sound judgement is surprising.

    I hope he features prominently on a blog devoted to documenting the shortcomings of media executives.

    But let's get some perspective: Peter Meakin does not appear in poster format on any kid's bedroom wall anywhere. Nor is his ruddy face used to promote muesli bars. And I'm pretty sure you won't see him signing photos at a primary school fete.

    I think even the most charitable AFL fanboi (yes, even Molly!) must concede that a) the drugs policies of the AFL and the players' guild have been "more relaxed" than they could have been, and b) this has contributed to the emergence of a risky drug culture.

    Here's three simple, non-controversial things that the AFL and the union could have agreed to in 2005 that might have put the kibosh on some of (not all) the drugs controversy:

    * Remove the six-week end-of-season drug-binge by allowing testing during this period.

    * Have a guarantee of ensuring each player will be tested at least three times a year, instead of less than once.

    * Ban the practice of having test-free "recovery days".

    Three simple measures that the AFL and the union could have nailed down in 2005, and are practised by other sporting codes.

    That's without even getting into controversial issues like two versus three strikes, letting Ben Cousins back too early, or the leaking of ASADA's supposedly secret "random" testing etc.

    Instead, the AFL was more interested in making money and the AFL players' union more interested in ensuring the players had an uninterrupted good time.

    Very cosy at the time. Now see where it's got us.

    By Blogger Greg, at 11:50 pm, October 23, 2007  

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  • Its good that you Greg at least have the issue of drink driving a little more important then Simon.

    I agree that only Anna Corrin or Nomi Robson has a poster of him on there wall but unfortunately we have (or should that be HAD) him on our roads and that scares me a lot more then the thought that a couple of 18-35 year olds are using drugs. Don't get me wrong I have a 7 and 3 year old and I do fear drugs but I am going to blame myself if they use drugs not a football player.

    Now just thinking about it, I have seen lots of Footy players doing charity work and visiting sick kids in hospital yet, I can't remember any reports of a dramatic increase in charity work or hospital visits among the youth of today! Is it possible that the kids are only interested in what a football does with Football and could careless what they do in there spare time.

    I have to admit that I didn't know about the six week drug test free window, and agree that it would be good to close that. I hope WADA fix that up when they take over the illicit drug testing system, well thats if they get off there ass and step up to the plate the way the AFL did!

    I think the extra testing is a good idea and I look forward (seeing the government is so concerned) ponying up for it! Personally myself (and perhaps this is selfish) as a fan I don't want to pay for it. Perhaps the Anti-footy league could pay for it.

    Where the suggestions modelled on another sports code? No, oh thats right no other sport had a code in 2005!

    I am yet to see your proof that the AFL leaked the tests to the players. This is especially strange seeings as that AFL doesn't know about the tests. So either they are good guesses or I want to ask someone there what the lotto numbers are this week.

    I think the AFL are interested in the Health of the game, and from what I can see its going from strength to strength. The AFLPA are trying to look after the best interest of the players and as not getting involved in drugs is in their best interest they were the first to sign up for an illicit drug test!

    Molly

    By Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone, at 1:02 am, October 24, 2007  

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  • That any investors would entrust him - or his directors, for that matter - with their money when he has repeatedly demonstrated such a lack of sound judgement is surprising.

    Not really.

    Is it any worse than Piers Akerman's groping and drug habits? (From Hansard.)

    Akerman makes Meakin look like a choir boy AND still maintains a pretty strong public profile.

    By Blogger Dikkii, at 1:06 am, October 24, 2007  

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  • Still trotting out that line about AFL beng the only body testing hey Molly?

    How many time has that been proven false at worst, and very misleading at best? You keep on repeating ADs lie though, if enough people believe does that mean it becomes the truth?

    What about the fact that just 1 NRL club conducted more tests than the entire AFL last year? Ring any bells?

    Cheers,
    Paul

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:12 pm, October 24, 2007  

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  • Paul, I tell you what, I will give you the NRL and say congrats to them. But it still doesn't change the fact that there are more sports that don't test and nothing is being said about them but that one that is, is getting smashed because (as will become apparent when the others do have tests) they atheletes are taking Illicit drugs and because the AFL are being tested, their being caught (whether enough of the ones doing it are being caught set aside) and so there is evidence (i.e. Private medical documents and stats the AFL publish) that some AFL players take drugs and not that other athletes do as well.

    I am not washing over the AFL need to fight this and yes there is heaps more they could do, but it is what is practical and that matches the size of the problem. And I personally have no problem with what their doing. They consulted the experts and they should continue to do that, because it is right!

    Molly

    By Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone, at 3:44 pm, October 24, 2007  

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  • No doubt other athletes take illicit drugs, and they should be scrutinised too.

    But the difference with AFL players compared with, say, swimmers or soccer players is the fall-out.

    There have been dozens of court cases and arrests in the past couple of years involving AFL players. As a group, they are arrogant, spoilt arseholes and the drugs just make them worse.

    I'm struggling to think of instances where swimmers - or soccer players - have been involved with pack rapes, gang bashings, underworld connections, gunplay etc. (Yes, NRL has a problem, but at least they're comparatively on top of the drugs issue.)

    Amphetamines and cocaine, in particular, bring out the worst in dickheads. These guys are high enough on testosterone and booze and a sense of being untouchable by the law. Throwing stimulants into the mix is like throwing kerosene on a fire.

    I hear stories and reports from people about coked-up players and former players and it's not pretty. Sometimes people email them in. Others are friend-of-a-friend accounts. I wish I had the legal budget to publish some of these as they are truly rotten.

    If right-wing columnists have a cocaine habit then that's no good. Particularly if they get sanctimonious about other people's habits. But I'd be willing to bet the most damage rendered to society from any given gram of coke is up the nose of a current or former AFL player.

    Physical size, arrogance, propensity for violence, ego, risk-taking attitude, lack of smarts, encouragement from hangers-on and a (perhaps correct) belief that they are above the law - all combine to make them a powder keg.

    By Blogger Greg, at 4:04 pm, October 24, 2007  

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  • So Greg if I understand you your saying its not so much about protecting the kids (as you or others have said) its more that you just don't like footy players?

    And NRL have it under control? Yeah? Joe Johns? This quote:

    "I remember the first night we went to training to conduct the tests, and there were 40 positive tests for marijuana and that was only across three clubs." Source: SMH 27 Aug 2006

    I will give you the benifit of the doubt and a chance to retract that silly statement.

    But more importantly, like the AFL they are tackling the problem and should be applauded for it, not whacked all over the place because what they and we knew to be true, that young people take drugs, is true and they are trying to do something positive about it!

    I really personally can't believe the line of argument that the AFL aren't tougher because it would hurt their brand. Them being tougher, zero tolerance, would hurt the young men with the problems, but the game will go on long after (assuming it is beaten in society one day) drugs are old news.

    It would actually be much much much better for the AFL's image to out anyone that is caught taking drugs, but the young men would suffer horribly and I would image a suicide wouldn't be out of the question! And that would be a tragedy!

    Molly

    By Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone, at 5:00 pm, October 24, 2007  

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  • Yeah, I don't like footy players. And in other breaking news - the Pope is a Catholic!

    My point is that footballers are the worst people to immerse themselves in stimulants. This is because of their personalities and culture. Therefore, we should focus our energies on them. Hardly outlandish.

    Similarly, if we're to crack down on workplace drinking, we should start with airline pilots and surgeons before looking into accountants. It's just common sense, Molly!

    Oh, and thanks for graciously allowing me to retract my remarks on my own blog. :-)

    There is a multitude of valid and independent reasons to be against drug-use by footballers. For example, they drive up prices for the rest of us.

    So the role-model argument stands. The "footballers are dumb and aggressive enough already" argument works independently of the role-model one. (It only applies to stimulants though - if they're zonked on Valium they're less likely to bash and rape.)

    The AFL does share a degree of culpability. More testing would afford quicker detection and intervention. If used in conjunction with fewer strikes, it would also provide greater deterrence, meaning fewer would get into drugs in the first place. Why didn't the AFL act?

    It would - over the first few seasons - hurt the AFL in two ways. Firstly, there'd be a "who's busted now" headline every two weeks. Bad for sponsorship. Secondly, the game would be impoverished because many high-performing and popular footballers (eg Ben Cousins) would be booted out. Fans would be unhappy and memberships, ratings and attendance would suffer.

    The AFL (backed by the union) chose not to take the short-term pain for long-term gain. Could this be because the CEO's only in the job for a few years and, unlike corporate CEOs, his million dollar benefits package doesn't have a long-term performance component?

    Now, sadly, I think a suicide is possible, even likely. The AFL reaps what it sows.

    By Blogger Greg, at 5:36 pm, October 24, 2007  

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  • On the role model argument, why aren't there more young kids supporting Charities or Visiting random kids in hospital? You keep telling me the media is full of these photo ops, so why are incidents of these up?

    Isn't it true the Role Model argument is a croc of and the only Role the AFL players are being observer modeling is there AFL exploits?

    Molly

    By Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone, at 5:42 pm, October 24, 2007  

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  • That's actually a very good argument you've got there Molly.

    Unfortunately for you, studies show that volunteering rates are increasing, especially amongst young people.

    However, I'm reluctant to attribute that to the good example set by footballers.

    I reckon most people see through the charade of footballer volunteering. The bulk of it is publicist-led photo-op media stunts. The remainder is actually community-based orders issued by judicial figures reluctant to be ostracised by the Melbourne establishment for gaoling a player.

    Sure, one or two might be genuine cases. But when you think about all that money and free time, I'd be surprised if the genuine initiatives match the rate in the general population.

    However, young people note the enthusiasm with which footballers take to cocaine and meth and are under no illusions that they're faking that!

    Recall the player quoted in the media as saying "you haven't lived until you've had a beauty queen snort coke of your dick?" I don't remember hearing anything similar about helping homeless at a soup kitchen.

    By Blogger Greg, at 6:07 pm, October 24, 2007  

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  • I love Greg when you support my arguments. I agree that any young people Volunteering aren't doing it because of AFL Footballers in the same way kids taking drugs aren't really doing it because the media reports that they enjoy being on drugs.

    On the about point, I haven't heard one player come out publicly and say they enjoy taking drugs. In fact the only two I have heard talk about taking drugs in public have said how it ruins there lives (actually make that three, I remember another).

    That is the very reason that I am happy that the AFL, off there own bat (or ball), choose to study the situation and then do something about it long before you or the media and especially the Vote catchers (i.e. Pollies) thought it was worth mentioning. They then confirmed the problem and did something about it.

    Maybe the media that loves reporting these stories should have a look in their own organisations and take the moral high ground for the good of the public that they claim to serve and start trying to help their own employees that are have similar issues as those that some AFL players are dealing with.

    As for your quote, it was in a gutter piece and I take it as that gutter. Even if it was true (and correct me if I am wrong, its a quote from a movie any way) it is quoted from a private conversation and it would seem that the report quoting it is actually the one bringing it into the open and therefore glorifying the drug taking! Wonder if he has ever speed in his car or drove home drunk. It seems that is a problem these media types have, perhaps all media company cars should be fitted with breath testers for the protection of the public!

    Molly

    By Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone, at 12:48 am, October 25, 2007  

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  • Molly it is a complement being called stupid by you. did you think bill Clinton should have been impeached for getting a blow job?

    By Blogger Simon, at 11:08 pm, October 25, 2007  

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  • Simon, Did I call you stupid? Bill Clinton? I miss the point, has he nominated for the Draft?
    Molly

    By Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone, at 9:43 am, October 26, 2007  

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  • Well Ben Cousins is back and on the Tigers list for 2009. Let's hope he doesn't squander the opportunity.

    By Anonymous Ben Cousins, at 1:24 pm, December 22, 2008  

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  • That 'Such is Life' tattoo is going to look a bit of a worry if Ben Cousins ever gets a beer gut, but then again, such is life.

    By Anonymous Auto One, at 1:29 pm, December 22, 2008  

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  • Hopefully Ben Cousin's mistakes are behind him and we'll get to see more spectacular football from him at Richmond.

    By Anonymous Freebies, at 4:39 pm, December 22, 2008  

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  • One should try and avoid alcohol with Viagra or Viagra soft tabs. This combination can increase your chances to obtain vertiginous or to lower your blood pressure. http://www.viagrathunder.com

    By Blogger Dr.Misty Wills, at 5:53 pm, January 28, 2009  

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  • In response to Dr Misty Wills, I think when you say 'vertiginous' you mean 'vertiginousness'.

    'Vertiginous' is an adjective which should be used in conjunction with a noun, e.g. "obtain a vertiginous state..." (where vertiginous is the adjective and state is the noun).

    Alternatively you could simple say:

    "This combination can increase your chances to obtain vertiginousness or to lower your blood pressure."

    By Anonymous AFL, at 11:31 am, February 04, 2009  

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  • Well after all the controversy I must confess I was wrong. Tigers got a sensational return both on and off-field for this bloke in 2009.

    By Anonymous AFL Football, at 4:32 pm, October 21, 2009  

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