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SBD Global/March 27, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Australian Football League Clubs Wary Of Integrity Officer Plan

The Australian Football League's fight to strengthen integrity measures "has hit a hurdle, with clubs questioning the need to hire integrity or risk officers," according to Jon Pierik of THE AGE.  Collingwood, Port Adelaide, West Coast and Brisbane "have people working in this area, but several clubs are weighing up the benefits shown in the job description of a full-time specialist integrity officer and whether they can fund what is believed to be an extra" A$150,000 ($157,000) from their tight budgets. The reported job description for an integrity officer appears to focus on keeping a close eye on players at all times, including to ''monitor and assist in the control of access to players from external parties." AFL Geelong CEO Brian Cook said that the Cats "were not interested in filling the position." Cook said, "If the role is dominantly a policing role, we don't want to do that." AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou has said it is ''very, very important'' for clubs to consider filling a role that has risen to prominence in the wake of trouble at Essendon. But "it is not compulsory" (THE AGE, 3/27).

In Sydney, Brad Walter reported National Rugby League Cronulla players "have never been offered a deal to plead guilty to using performance-enhancing substances and accept a six-month ban, and face a suspension of up to two years if charged with a doping violation." It has been reported former Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Chief Counsel Richard Redman "had negotiated six-month bans for them if they pleaded guilty." However, Fairfax Media "has been told that is incorrect and Redman merely advised the players of their options if they were to be charged at a meeting three weeks ago, which was also attended by several player agents" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 3/27).
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