Collingwood president Eddie McGuire says the Pies have been thrown under the bus as the fallout continues after 11 of the AFL club’s players allegedly returned a positive test for illicit drugs.
McGuire’s latest comments on the issue on Sunday came the day after coach Nathan Buckley said his players had been betrayed after the allegation was made by a News Corp report on Thursday.
“Now that everyone has had a couple of days of running around with this, hopefully we can all take a deep breath and deal with what this is about,” McGuire said in a statement released to the Sunday Footy Show.
“Collingwood has been thrown right under the bus here.
“This testing is designed to stop people getting into further trouble with experimenting or taking drugs.
“It is for statistical purposes.
“It would be like taking a breathalyser to a workplace the morning after a Christmas party and saying everyone is an alcoholic.
“What I would really like to have come out of this is some community leadership, and maybe for the AFLPA and AFL to realise that people best placed to deal with this are the clubs.”
Buckley said after Collingwood’s 80-point loss to Sydney on Saturday he had no idea whether the explosive allegation following the hair testing had impacted on the Magpies’ performance.
“I don’t know what the facts are and I don’t know if many people know what the facts are, the AFL do, in regards to the off season testing,” Buckley said in his post-match press conference.
“But one thing I do know is that our players, along with the rest of the players in the competition, were prepared to put their hand up to be tested for that under the guise of anonymity.
“And our players are the only ones that seem to no longer enjoy that cloak of anonymity, so they’ve been betrayed in some sense and it wouldn’t surprise me if they felt that a little bit.”
Buckley said the Pies hadn’t harped on the issue in the lead-up to Saturday’s game.
“We didn’t dwell on it, we spoke about it briefly, but to mine, we’re human and our boys are human,” he said.
“I hate making excuses but in some shape and form we were different tonight.”