GOLD COAST won't be "jumping at shadows" after former Suns player Karmichael Hunt alleged several of his ex-teammates used cocaine last year, coach Rodney Eade says.
Hunt reportedly told Queensland's Crime and Corruption Commission he regularly used drugs and alcohol during his time at the Suns, and that his drug use escalated after the 2014 season ended.
News Corp newspapers reported that the 28-year-old told law enforcement officers that changing clubs and football codes last year had accelerated his use of cocaine.
Hunt alleged several of his former Suns teammates used cocaine after the Suns' 'Mad Monday' celebrations, and also during a golf trip to the Sunshine Coast the following week. He also alleged a Suns player contributed to payment for the cocaine used.
Suns chief executive Andrew Travis announced on Sunday the club would interview the players again, and seek information from Hunt and his representatives following the explosive accusations.
After his side's loss to Carlton at Etihad Stadium on Sunday night, Eade told reporters that he hadn't raised the matter with his players and said he was unsure whether any of them had allegations laid against them.
"Internally, we knew the story was going to come, but there's no sense mentioning it to the players," Eade said in his post-match press conference.
"To be honest, our players wouldn't read the media and probably wouldn't have known about it.
"We'll wait 'til we get facts. There's going to be an investigation. There's no sense jumping at shadows. There hasn't been any facts presented previously. There's no facts at the moment. There's been a fair bit of mud slung.
"It's interesting that this story would come out on the day that we played our 100th game. Intel says that they probably knew the story a few weeks ago. You can read into that what you like …
"Maybe (the allegations relate to) players who aren't at the club any more … We have to deal in facts. We can't hang people on whispers."
Eade said the Suns' football department would leave the investigation to club CEO Travis, who issued a statement on Sunday, just hours before the Suns took the field.
"We do have a lot to be proud of – a great stadium, a strong relationship with the Gold Coast community, committed sponsors and passionate members who care about our club," Travis said.
"We also clearly have issues we need to deal with. As new CEO, I am demanding higher standards and making sure we hold ourselves to account when we do not deliver on those standards.
"I will be investigating these allegations, and will provide further advice to our supporters and members as appropriate."
Travis reiterated the Suns' stance on the matter on Sunday afternoon.
"We're in our fifth season now, we haven't played finals football, our off-field metrics aren't at AFL standard. So for a whole lot of those reasons I think it's pretty clear as a club we need to demand higher standards of each other," Travis told radio station 3AW.
"I was referring to the standards full stop, on and off the field.
"Our playing group accepted that and they're actually looking for higher standards to be coached, and certainly 'Rocket' (Eade) is of that view as well."
Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett said the Suns' leadership group would convene on Monday to discuss Hunt's allegations and denied any involvement in the club's off-season celebrations.
"I definitely wasn't part of that and I had no idea anything like that was going on," Ablett told 3AW on Sunday afternoon.
"Come Monday, we need to lay the facts on the table, it's something that we need to work through and make sure that isn't going on.
"It would be wrong for me to comment because it's been something that's (been) written in the paper (and) I want to make sure all the facts are put in front of the whole leadership group and then we'll work out the process that we go through from there."
AFL spokesman Patrick Keane told AFL.com.au the League had made contact with the Suns.
"The AFL has spoken to the Gold Coast Suns today after Karmichael Hunt's statements to the Crime Commission were made public this morning," Keane said.
"The AFL will provide whatever support and assistance is required for the club to investigate the information released."
Hunt was fined $2500 in March after pleading guilty to four counts of cocaine possession in the Southport Magistrates Court, but no conviction was recorded.
He ended his four-year, 44-game AFL career with the Suns at the end of last season and signed a lucrative contract with the Queensland Reds rugby union team.
In February, Ablett said Hunt's charges came as "a shock" and dismissed any suggestions of a drug culture at the Suns.
Coach Rodney Eade said at the time that no players had come forward with information about illicit drug use in the wake of reports of Hunt facing drug charges.