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Brown calls for harsher drug penalties

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THE AFL needs to look at applying harsher penalties for illicit drug use, says former Brisbane Lions champion Jonathan Brown. Brown says although the current three strikes policy – which allows players two positive returns before being punished for a third – is working to some degree, it is time to toughen up. He said […]

THE AFL needs to look at applying harsher penalties for illicit drug use, says former Brisbane Lions champion Jonathan Brown.

Brown says although the current three strikes policy – which allows players two positive returns before being punished for a third – is working to some degree, it is time to toughen up.

He said the charges laid against former Gold Coast player Karmichael Hunt for supplying cocaine should be a wake-up call for the AFL.

Six current and former players of NRL club the Gold Coast Titans have also been charged.

“I think we’d be naïve to think there wouldn’t be some players taking them (drugs) in the AFL as well,” Brown said.

“They need to look at the penalties being tightened up a bit more because maybe it’s not working at the moment.”

AFL liaising with Suns over Hunt

Brown said the AFL’s current policy had merit, with the number of positive tests decreasing as the number of overall tests was on the rise.

“Would a stiffer penalty hanging over your head stop you from doing it, maybe make you think twice at two o’clock in the morning in a nightclub when you’re going to take the illicit substance? Personally I think it would,” Brown said.

“I’ve never been that way inclined, but potentially they might need to look at stiffer penalties.

“With professional sport we do have a vehicle to be real leaders in the community. I think it’s time now for the athletes to stand up.”

Brown said although there was temptation, he could not understand why players would run the risk.

“I think we’re in a very privileged and lucky position to get paid to play a sport we love and part of that comes by making sacrifices.”

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