RYAN Crowley is stressed and anxious as he waits to find out when his AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal hearing will be, but he's also relieved his positive drugs test is no longer a secret, Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich says. 

It was revealed on Monday that Crowley is serving a provisional suspension after testing positive to a banned substance on a match day last season. 

Crowley is awaiting a hearing at the AFL Tribunal after testing positive to the substance, which was contained in a painkiller that the Dockers said they had not prescribed.  

Pavlich said his first knowledge of Crowley's positive test came on Monday morning when he received a call from Fremantle's football manager Chris Bond. 

The skipper said he has spoken to Crowley briefly as the 31-year-old continues to train. 

Pavlich said his teammate was understandably worried. 

"It's obviously a stressful time for Ryan," Pavlich said. 

"He's probably somewhat relieved that it's now been made public. He's spoken to the players and he's able to move forward. It's an incredibly difficult time for him and everyone at the club is supporting him through it. 

"I've only spoken briefly to Ryan, and that was to offer my support and the club's support. He was dealing with it reasonably well. He's obviously had it at hand for quite some time.  

"He's been speaking with lawyers and the committee here at the club. He's in a reasonable position. 

"But clearly it's been a stressful and highly anxious time for him, and it will remain that way until the hearing date is set and the hearing has transpired." 

Pavlich was elected as the new president of the AFL Players' Association on Tuesday night. 

He did not want to comment on why Crowley's hearing had not taken place despite Crowley being provisionally suspended on September 25 last year, and the infraction notice being served on October 1. 

"It's really an AFL and ASADA issue to deal with," Pavlich said. 

"We're hoping for these (things) not to occur in the future." 

Pavlich said the Fremantle playing group was "surprised and shocked" by Crowley's positive test. 

He said it was not unusual for players not to be aware of the details of teammates' personal issues and he insisted the squad would not be affected. 

"It's funny, as players you spend so much time together, but sometimes you don't know exactly what's happening in someone's life, whether it's physically or outside of the game," Pavlich said.  

"Whilst we always try to be very transparent with each other, he was just going about his business as best he can. 

"Playing groups are pretty resilient. I've been playing for quite some time now, and whether the news happens externally or is held in-house, most of the time we deal with it and move on. 

"This one is no different to some of the other issues we've had in the past." 

Crowley has not missed a game since Ross Lyon took over as Fremantle coach for the start of the 2012 season. 

The 31-year-old tagger won the club's best and fairest that season and he has been crucial in shutting down the competition's best midfielders week in, week out. 

Pavlich said Crowley would be a great loss, but backed a couple of players to step up. 

"He's played a great role, but what a great opportunity for Clancee Pearce or Matt de Boer or someone else," Pavlich said. 

"Ross has already said he worries about the people who can, rather than the ones who can't.  

"We'll continue to support Ryan. We'd love him to be back out there when, and if, possible. But it provides enormous opportunity for someone else."