Darcy fears he played against cheats
Darcy fears he played against cheats

Former Western Bulldogs ruckman Luke Darcy says the Australian Crime Commission's damning report into drugs and organised crime in sport has left him questioning the players and teams he competed with and against.

Darcy played 226 games from 1994-2010, including two preliminary finals, and was the favourite for the 2002 Brownlow Medal.

He said the report left him questioning things which happened during his career.

"For the first time in my life now, I genuinely have suspicions over individual athletes," Darcy told Triple M yesterday.

"I have massive suspicions over team performances, on players who had unbelievable years who didn't have great years afterwards or the year before. I hate that feeling in my mind about the era of people I played with and played against.

"What if I played and did the best of my ability with a group that didn't win a premiership and we weren't competing on a fair playing field?"

In another development, Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop rejected reports that an A-League match was being investigated for match fixing.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton revealed $49 million had been placed on a recent A-League match with a Hong Kong bookmaker, but he stopped short of saying the game had been rigged.

Gallop said the sport had nothing to worry about. "We have had it confirmed overnight by our overseas surveillance agency that they don't see any issues of concern around integrity for any A-League match," Gallop said.

Former Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett slammed the AFL, saying the three-strikes illicit drugs policy contributed to players taking illegal substances.

He said the AFL should strengthen all drug laws, ban players who test positive to any illicit drug for 12 months, slash their pay and force them to attend rehabilitation.

He said a second strike should result in a life ban.

"There is only one policy that will survive any test and that is a zero tolerance policy to drugs," Kennett told SEN radio.

"If all the players understand that and the clubs understand it, those who break the rules have no one but themselves to blame."

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire revealed he had ordered an audit at his club two days before the ACC's bombshell.

He had demanded to know what his players had been given, who supplied it and where it had been bought. McGuire said the AFL's increased hard line would deter players from running the gauntlet.

But former Collingwood captain and coach Tony Shaw predicted the investigation would fade quickly.

"I don't think any players will miss a game through this," he told 3AW. "There is no way known that the AFL would rub out 25 players from one club. They will plead ignorance. They will get a slap."

"For the first time in my life now, I genuinely have suspicions over individual athletes."" *Luke Darcy *

The West Australian

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