Coronavirus: AFL sanctions Adelaide players and assistant coach for training breach

Omnisport

The Australian Football League (AFL) has sanctioned 16 players for the Adelaide Crows, as well as an assistant coach, following a breach of COVID-19 training protocols.

The governing body handed down the punishment after the team failed to adhere to social distancing rules during a training session.

The breach occurred during a kicking drill, in which two groups of eight were found to have come into close contact.

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Assistant coach Ben Hart, who oversaw the drill, has consequently been stood down until June 22, with al players involved handed a suspended one-match ban.

In a statement, the AFL said the incident was "inadvertent and not done to create a competitive advantage".

AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said: "We all have a very clear responsibility to ensure we do everything we can to stop the spread of the virus.

"The protocols are clear and the actions in this matter, whilst not pre-planned, are a breach of them.

"We take this matter extremely seriously. We will not compromise the health and well-being of the community, and remind everyone in the industry – players, coaches, officials and staff – that they have a responsibility to adhere to the rules for the safety of everyone in the community."

The Crows acknowledged they had breached training protocols and accepted the sanctions.

The 2020 AFL season was suspended on March 22 after just one round, with a return date yet to be determined. 

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