Collingwood has announced young forward Sam Murray is being investigated by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) for testing positive for an illicit drug.
Collingwood’s confirmation came as reports emerged on Friday morning that Murray, 20, showed elevated levels of an illicit substance in his system in a post-match drugs test.
Murray was made aware of the sample last week and carries a maximum ban of four years.
“I would like to reinforce that Collingwood is unequivocally committed to the cause of eliminating drugs in sport,” said Collingwood Chief Executive Officer, Mark Anderson.
“We fully support all anti-doping policies and our athletes understand the rules in place. Collingwood has worked hard to develop a culture of professionalism and respect within its teams and we are making great progress.
“It would be inappropriate to pre-empt the outcome of the ASADA process.
“In addition to ensuring we comply fully with the ASADA process, we are also ensuring that we support Sam as a person. Whatever the outcome of the ASADA investigation, the welfare of a young man must remain a priority and we are committed to providing the support that Sam needs.
“We are not able to make any further comment until all of the facts are gathered, the investigation completed and a determination reached.”
Murray was named to play against Port Adelaide last weekend but was a late withdrawal for “personal reasons”.
Reports suggest the positive sample was taken around Collingwood’s round 19 match against Richmond.
He had played the last four rounds before his withdrawal.
According to AFL reporter Damien Barrett, Murray did not train and was not at the club this week.
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley was asked about Murray’s absence in a press conference on Thursday but said he was unable to speak further.
“We’re supporting Sam with what he’s going through as much as we possibly can,” Buckley said.
“It’s meant that he’s had some time away from the club as well and we’re looking after him as much as we can.”
It comes after two Collingwood players, Josh Thomas and Lachie Keeffe, were banned for two years in 2015 when banned substance Clenbuterol was found in their system.