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AFL in discussions with Gold Coast after Karmichael Hunt drug shock

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Karmichael Hunt of the Suns attempts to break away from the defence of Nick Suban of the Dockers during the 2013 AFL round 06 match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Fremantle Dockers at Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast on May 04, 2013. (Photo: Bradley Kanaris/AFL Media)
Former Sun Karmichael Hunt has been charged with supplying cocaine
There are discussions between the AFL and the Gold Coast Suns, and more broadly to other clubs as well who are quite interested in what's going on
AFL football operations manager Mark Evans

THE AFL is working closely with Gold Coast in the wake of former Sun Karmichael Hunt being issued with drugs charges.

Hunt received a notice last Thursday to appear in court over a charge of supplying cocaine.

The notice alleged Hunt and three others arranged for the supply of cocaine for personal use and on-sale to friends between June and December, 2014.

Hunt's four-year career with the Suns ended in September last year and he returned to rugby union.

AFL football operations manager Mark Evans said on Monday the League had been in contact with the Suns since the revelation.

When asked if the AFL had sought assurances from the Suns that none of their other players were involved, Evans said the League wasn't aware of the specifics of the situation but would continue to talk to the club.

"It's fair to say there are discussions between the AFL and the Gold Coast Suns, and more broadly to other clubs as well who are quite interested in what's going on," Evans said.

"We don't have [specifics] but it's fair to say that we'll be having plenty of conversations just to make sure that the Gold Coast Suns are dealing with this appropriately within their playing group and having those discussions.

"We have [contacted them] and I would expect they would have some discussion within their club about that, and I think that's entirely appropriate and something that we would say needs to be done a few times each year in every club anyway, as part of their on-going education program.

"We don't shy away from that, we think it's entirely appropriate to do that."

The Suns are yet to comment on the situation.

"The Gold Coast Suns have been made aware of charges laid against Karmichael Hunt through the media reports this morning," the Suns said in a statement last Thursday.

"As this matter is now before the court, it would be inappropriate to make any comment."

Evans said the AFL’s Illicit Drugs Policy had encouraged discussion between clubs and their players, and the League and the clubs, since it was introduced in 2005.

However, he said the AFL was mindful it needed to continue to stay on top of the issue as a whole.

"Illicit drugs are an issue for our community and if you talk to a lot of parents, you'll know their concern with this particular issue, and we share the same issues," he said.

"A number of years ago, when we bought in our Illicit Drugs Policy, it was ... setting up a system to behave as if we are a parent dealing with a player where you want that player to be educated and have some concern for their welfare.

"On the most part, that has gone very well for us and we continue to have those discussions with clubs and players around this and we'll continue to do that in the future.

"We would never say we're immune to any of these issues and it's something that as a community and a League and as clubs we need to keep chipping away at."