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Crows cleared over notorious Gold Coast camp

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The Adelaide Crows did not breach any work health and safety laws when the club held its infamous 2018 preseason camp on the Gold Coast, a year-long SafeWork SA investigation has concluded.

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The controversial camp, run in conjunction with private training firm Collective Mind, was linked to a player exodus and the club’s subsequent spiral from finals contention.

The allegations prompted South Australia’s workplace health and safety regulator SafeWork SA to launch an investigation in July last year, following calls from parliamentarians including Premier Steven Marshall, who said there were “genuine concerns” and an inquiry would be “an interesting thing to explore”.

In a statement published on its website this morning, SafeWork SA said it had closed its investigation after finding no breaches of the Work Health & Safety Act 2012.

The statement said the Crows “fully cooperated” with authorities and provided all information and materials.

But SafeWork SA said it would not provide detail, citing confidentiality provisions in the WHS Act that prevent the disclosure of information acquired during the course of an investigation.

“Thorough investigations often reveal that no breach of the law occurred. This was the case in this matter,” the statement said.

The Crows said in a statement that SafeWork SA had undertaken a “comprehensive” and “confidential” investigation.

The club reiterated that the regulator had found “neither the club nor any other person or organisation breached any work health and safety laws during or in relation to the camp”.

An AFL investigation conducted last year also cleared the club of any wrongdoing.

A report in The Age last year detailed several allegations of the goings-on during the Gold Coast camp, which was held after the Crows lost the 2017 grand final to Richmond.

It was reported that players were allegedly greeted by men in army fatigues carrying fake guns, that they were intermittently blindfolded and that one player was initially denied medical aid after fainting during one team exercise.

It was also alleged players were split into three groups, with one group’s members being tied to a tree and ordered to crawl towards a nearby knife to cut themselves free, while teammates were encouraged to hurl increasingly personal abuse.

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