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Crows cop suspended sentences, Hart stood down

Football

UPDATED | Sixteen Adelaide players who broke the AFL’s coronavirus training protocols have copped a one-game ban, which has been suspended for the rest of the season.

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And Adelaide assistant coach Ben Hart has been stood down from coaching for the next six weeks for his involvement in last week’s botched training at the Barossa Valley.

An AFL investigation found the Crows group weren’t seeking a competitive advantage when they trained together, instead of being in self-isolation.

The 16 players and Hart were meant to be in quarantine after returning to South Australia from interstate.

The group had received permission to train in pairs, as stipulated by AFL coronavirus protocols.

But towards the end of two-hour session overseen by Hart last Thursday, the players – in two groups of eight – trained against each other.

AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said the sanctions on the 16 players and Hart were taken under current protocols.

But the AFL commission on Monday met and will soon announce “strengthened protocols” regarding training as coronavirus restrictions are eased around Australia.

“The (current) protocols are clear and the (Crows’) actions in this matter, whilst not pre-planned, are a breach of them,” Dillon said in a statement.

“We take this matter extremely seriously. We will not compromise the health and well-being of the community.”

SA Police also investigated the Crows, but opted not to fine them for breaking SA’s quarantine rules.

-AAP

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