Published February 19, 2013
Explosive allegations "have emerged that the reason for a Brisbane Lions player's absence from some games last decade was falsified to cover-up an illicit drug issue," according to Andrew Hamiltion of the COURIER-MAIL. A former Lions staffer said that "a player missed specific matches in this period because of the illicit drugs issue."
It is just one of several allegations to emerge that have prompted the Australian Football League "to open an investigation into behaviours at the club" between '02-09. It follows claims by premiership player Ash McGrath's cousin, Jason McGrath, that "he was involved in match-fixing, illegal gambling and was a drug supplier to six Lions players from that period who were regular users of speed, ecstacy and marijuana" (COURIER-MAIL, 2/19
). In Sydney, Dan Koch reported the Lions "have angrily denied claims of rampant drug use and match-fixing by players at the club and are investigating their legal options following allegations made by the relative of veteran defender Ash McGrath." McGrath was reportedly "furious at having his name drawn into the furore, which has engulfed Australian sport, following the sensational accusations" made by Jason McGrath. A confessed drug dealer, Jason McGrath "has claimed to have been directly involved with betting on a fixed game." He also made claims concerning another incident of spot-fixing and said that "he was the beneficiary of regular inside information from team members for the purposes of betting." The club said in a statement, "It is extremely disappointing that this story was published in the absence of any evidence" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/19