Bennell scandal results in fine
THE Gold Coast Suns have whacked bad boy Harley Bennell with a $ 5000 fine and a suspended three- match ban for his involvement in the drugs saga that has engulfed the club.
Bennell was photographed with an alleged illicit substance in a Launceston hotel room in 2013, and the image was splashed over the front pages of newspapers around the country two weeks ago.
Bennell is not available for senior selection this weekend but is available for the s e c o n d - t i e r NEAFL this Saturday.
He will be available for senior selection next weekend, which will take his time away from the big time to three matches since the photos first emerged.
Bennell has also been told he must adhere to an off- field welfare program as well as the standards and expectations of the playing group.
The Suns described the player’s $ 5000 fine as a “contribution’’ to the off- field programs being put in place for Bennell.
The sanctions were agreed to by Bennell, his management, the AFL Players Association and the Suns. They were announced yesterday by Suns CEO Andrew Travis.
“Harley has bought into this plan,’’ Travis said.
“It’s now up to him to respond to this plan.’’ Suns coach Rodney Eade said Bennell had been “contrite’’ in crisis talks the past fortnight.
He asked Bennell if he wanted to stay at the club and the talented midfielder said he did.
Travis also addressed the entire Suns playing group and outlined the standards the club expected for player behaviour.
“Every single player is now very, very clear about what we expect,’’ he said. “We need to win back some respect, and we will.’’
Travis said he expected the wider investigation into drug use at the club to be complete by next week.