Police probe claims club paid young footballers with marijuana – The Age

Posted on: April 29th, 2012 by admin No Comments

SOUTH Australian police are investigating allegations that talented young footballers have been given marijuana in exchange for playing football.

At least two teenage indigenous players have told junior delegates at the Port Lincoln Football League they were paid ”a stick [of marijuana] per game” last season by representatives of the Boston Football Club. The players were 16 at the time.

League chief executive Robyn Rowsell said she was aware of the allegations and had passed them on to police. ”An accusation has been put forward,” she said. ”I have no proof but I have passed them on to police.”

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Port Lincoln police spokesman Michael Taylor said last night the police were aware of the allegations but would not comment further.

It is understood the matter was to be tabled at tomorrow night’s junior delegates meeting at Port Lincoln by local pastor and junior coach Lutz Mueller, vice-chairman of the junior delegates, who wanted those involved stood down pending a league investigation. Mr Mueller said last night he had also reported the matter to Port Lincoln police. ”It’s common knowledge in the community but no one’s been prepared to do anything about it,” he said.

”I’ve been told of text messages where a club has suggested to players they would [increase the amount] for certain players. We’re talking about potentially brilliant young indigenous players who are at risk here.

”I coach some brilliant young players as young as 11 and I am determined their lives will not be affected by this. It’s time to put a stop to it.”

Port Lincoln, on the Eyre Peninsula, has been the breeding ground for AFL stars such as Shaun and Peter Burgoyne, Lindsay Thomas, Eddie Betts, Byron Pickett and Graham Johncock. Denying the league had a drug problem, Ms Rowsell said: ”There are drugs around. There would not necessarily be a drug culture around the clubs, but I’m not saying individuals are not using drugs.”

However, Mr Mueller said he was unhappy his previous attempts to expose the player drug payments had fallen on deaf ears. Boston Football Club president Doug McFarlane was unavailable for comment last night. He has reportedly told Ms Rowsell he had no knowledge of the allegations. Ms Rowsell, who took over as CEO late last year, conceded she had been aware of allegations in the past regarding drug use at the club but believed the situation had improved in recent times.

Original post: Police probe claims club paid young footballers with marijuana – The Age

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