The AFL has warned that the next player caught using a mobile phone during a game might come off a lot worse than Hayden Ballantyne.
The Fremantle star escaped with an official warning after his blunder during last Friday’s NAB Challenge game against Richmond.
Ballantyne had come off the ground with a hamstring injury and rang a relative on his mobile phone in the changerooms.
But a TV camera caught the moment, which breached AFL integrity rules around gambling.
An AFL investigation proved that Ballantyne had done nothing worse than call a family member.
“While a formal warning was appropriate in the circumstances, all players and officials were on notice that the game’s integrity rules must be fully complied with at all times, regarding the use of phones in restricted areas,” the league said in a statement.
“A warning may not apply in future cases.”
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said on Monday that he hoped the incident would be a wake-up call for all players.