Suns to wait on Bennell decision

Gold Coast’s leadership group will leave the process of punishing drug-tainted midfielder Harley Bennell to the Suns’ management.

Bennell is waiting on what, if any, sanctions he’ll face after photos of him in a Tasmania hotel room in March 2013 allegedly using illicit drugs were published across the country last week.

The 22-year-old was stood down from last Saturday’s big AFL win over North Melbourne in what was essentially a welfare decision, but could face a longer stint on the sidelines if the club suspends him for his alleged wrongdoing.

Suns’ players led the drive earlier in the season to enforce a drinking ban in the build-up with multiple players missing games after being found to have breached those self-imposed regulations.

But Suns vice-captain Tom Lynch says Bennell’s punishment will be coming from outside the playing group.

“Management’s going to take care of that. They’re going to gather the facts and they’re going to work through it,” Lynch said.

“We may have some discussion but senior management will take care of that and give their opinions.”

Lynch said the player’s main priority remained ensuring Bennell is receiving their support through his personal crisis.

“Harley had a tough week last week, as you can imagine,” he said.

“Senior management will take care of the issues, what to do with him from now on, but for now we’re just trying to support him and keep him relatively upbeat.”

The club is also conducting an internal investigation into claims from ex-Sun Karmichael Hunt that several players were repeatedly using cocaine at various end of season functions following the 2014 campaign.

Hunt’s allegations were made in a report to police following his own conviction for cocaine possession in March.

Lynch says it had been a tough time for the club but the 55-point win over the Kangaroos had been the perfect tonic.

“The best thing we could have done was have a good game on the weekend,” he said.

“That’s the only way we can get out of this scandal, if you call it that.

“It hasn’t reflected well on the club, we’re trying to move on.

“The best thing we can do is knuckle down and play some good footy.”

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