Brad Crouch’s AFL playing future won’t be decided for weeks as police reject claims of special treatment for the Adelaide star and a teammate when they were caught with drugs.
Crouch and Crows forward Tyson Stengle were found with an illicit drug, understood to be cocaine, early on Monday.
Crouch and Stengle were in a taxi stopped by police at 5.15am on Monday in Adelaide‘s central business district.
SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens says officers stopped the pair after live monitoring of CCTV footage raised suspicions.
Police didn’t charge the duo, instead referring them to counselling under a drug diversion program.
“There is no special treatment here,” Stevens told reporters on Tuesday.
“The two people concerned have been dealt with as any other person would be.
“They have been given a drug diversion, which is the normal course of events for the quantity of substance that was identified.”
Crouch, Adelaide‘s 2019 club champion, is off-contract at the Crows.
He became a free agent at the end of Adelaide‘s season and is considering offers from rival clubs.
Adelaide‘s chief executive Andrew Fagan said his club’s investigation into the drugs bust and negotiations with Crouch about his playing future are “two separate processes”.
“We will complete our investigation into this incident,” Fagan told reporters on Tuesday.
“Brad … as a restricted free agent is exploring his options at the moment and we’re comfortable in allowing him to do so.
“We said that we will engage with him down the track where that sits with him.
“We also have our views on how we might address that negotiation.
“All information feeds into it but we will allow the two separate processes to run their course.
“And I expect that on his contractual side, that won’t be finalised for several weeks.”
Fagan was uncertain how long the club’s probe into the drugs incident would take.
“We made a fair bit of progress yesterday but … we want to do these things thoroughly and clearly understand each element of it,” he said.
Crouch and Stengle face fines of up to $5000 and possible other sanctions from the Crows and the AFL.
Stengle was suspended by the Crows in April for four AFL games after he was caught drink driving and driving an unregistered car.
The 21-year-old was due to appear in Adelaide Magistrates Court next month to answer those charges.