Sydney youngster Elijah Taylor has been banned for the rest of the season for breaching the AFL’s COVID-19 protocols and Western Australia’s quarantine restrictions.
Taylor’s partner entered the Swans’ quarantine hub accommodation in Perth when she was not authorised to do so.
The Swans have been fined $50,000 for the breach, with $25,000 suspended and $25,000 included in their 2021 soft cap.
WA Police have notified Sydney that Taylor can continue his quarantine with the team, while his partner will also be required to quarantine for 14 days.
AFL General Counsel Andrew Dillon said the AFL’s protocols are the competition’s licence to play and any clear breach will not be tolerated.
“The actions by Elijah not only breach the AFL’s protocols, but made it a police matter by breaching the Western Australian COVID-19 quarantine directions,” Dillon said.
“When in quarantine the rules are clear and there is no excuse for this breach.”
Sydney Swans chief executive Tom Harley said the club fully accepts the sanctions.
“We’re extremely disappointed to be in this position as our staff and players are all well aware of both the AFL protocols and the restrictions we are required to adhere to while in quarantine,” Harley said.
“We have spoken to Elijah at length and he understands the seriousness of this situation, which has also been reiterated to the entire team.
“We also appreciate that the circumstances of this year are unique and challenging for everyone, and we will continue to provide support to Elijah, as well as our other staff and players who are away from their families.
“The club would like to unreservedly apologise to the WA community. Clearly the restrictions we are adhering to are designed to protect the community and any breach is unacceptable.”
Well done ElijahTaylor, Sydney Swans player, you have breached WA coronavirus laws, game suspension is not enough, you and your girlfriend should be prosecuted. Disgusting behaviour!
We have worked hard a risked a lot just so AFL can be played in 2020, you inconsiderate twat.
— 💜Purrrplegrrrl💜 (@purrrplegrrrl) August 15, 2020
Taylor has played four games since being taken with pick No.36 in last year’s national draft.
The 19-year-old West Australian last played in the round 10 loss to Collingwood, when he tallied six disposals.
Although Taylor is by no means an AFL star, the lengthy ban sends a strong message to other players and officials around the league.
It it unclear how the WA government will react to the blatant breach.
WA has not recorded a case of community transmission of coronavirus for more than four months.