AFL, Suns to discuss Hunt scandal

The AFL will be in regular contact with the Gold Coast Suns as nervous officials assess the fallout from Karmichael Hunt’s cocaine scandal.

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The code-hopping former Suns player has received a notice to appear in court on March 5 for allegedly supplying the drug.

The period in question was between September 1 and October 3 last year, when Hunt technically was still at the Suns.

But the Suns say they are confident in the protocols in place at the club despite speculation linking them to the scandal.

“There are bits and pieces that are out there, but there’s nothing substantial,” Suns football manager Marcus Ashcroft told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

“Of course we’d be disappointed (if they were), we’re not going to deny that, but we’re also confident in what we actually do from day to day.”

Hunt has switched to rugby union with the Queensland Reds, while the NRL’s Gold Coast Titans have also been dragged into the saga with five players to face similar charges stemming from a Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission investigation.

Hunt is the only current or former AFL player so far implicated.

“Let me stay away from specifics – we don’t have those,” AFL operations manager Mark Evans said on Monday.

“But it’s fair to say we’ll be having plenty of conservations just to make sure Gold Coast Suns are dealing with this appropriately within their playing group.

“There are discussions between the AFL and Gold Coast – and more broadly to other clubs as well, who are quite interested in what’s going on.”

Evans said the AFL has few details surrounding the allegations.

“I will need to be mindful of not jumping to any conclusions or going anywhere where I shouldn’t,” he said at a media conference on Monday.

The league’s football department boss also defended the AFL’s controversial three-strikes illicit drugs policy.

“One thing it has done is it’s raised very good discussion between the league and clubs and their players – that can only be beneficial,” he said.

“But we would never say we’re immune to any of these issues.”

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