Should Michael Talia be found guilty of drug possession, the AFL is likely to punish him with a $5000 fine.
But that is only if this is the first time he has been caught out – a second strike triggers a four-match suspension.
Police allege the injured Sydney Swans defender was carrying a small amount of cocaine when they searched him near the Casablanca nightclub in Double Bay, Sydney, on the weekend.
Talia, 23, will appear in court next month, and has been stood down by the club.
He will be one of the first players publicly subjected to the AFL’s revamped illicit drugs policy, released after the season ended last year.
Under the new system, a player will be named and shamed the second time they are caught holding, using or dealing illegal drugs, if they return a positive drug test or refuse to take one.
On the first occasion the player is allowed to remain anonymous, even to their club.
The AFL is holding fire on Talia for now, with general manager of football operations Mark Evans saying they would let Talia have his day in court next month before deciding what to do.
“All players remain subject to the AFL’s illicit drug policy and any further action will be determined at a later time,” he said.
But Sydney has already punished Talia, banning him from training and other club activities as an interim measure.
He has only played one game this season as he recovers from a fractured foot.
Under the drugs policy, after four years a player’s record is effectively wiped clean and a further strike is treated as if it is the players’ first.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.