Carlisle accepts AFL first strike

Jake Carlisle’s video fiasco has cost the St Kilda recruit a first strike under the AFL’s illicit drugs policy and a two-match ban at the start of next season.

The former Essendon defender will also miss out on a $50,000 club marketing contract next year and has also agreed to other substantial changes to his deal.

He will start pre-season training next Monday, a fortnight earlier than planned, and will undertake an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program.

Carlisle’s punishment is much greater than if he had tested positive under the revised AFL illicit drugs code.

That would have meant a suspended $5000 fine and compulsory counselling, but also anonymity and no suspension.

The AFL effectively confirmed this was a first strike for Carlisle when it detailed the various penalties.

“(He will) receive a detection under the AFL’s revised illicit drug policy, including the suspended $5000 fine, counselling and target testing which attaches to this,” the league said in a statement.

Carlisle’s punishment followed meetings between the player and his manager Anthony McConville, the AFL, the players’ association and the Saints.

Video of Carlisle snorting an unidentified white powder emerged on October 21, only hours after his trade from Essendon to St Kilda was confirmed.

Carlisle soon cut short his overseas holiday and apologised.

The Saints are furious and earlier this week, Carlisle had a meeting with the club that his new coach Alan Richardson said was “appropriately confronting”.

Also on Friday, the Saints released a video of Carlisle in club clothing where he again expressed remorse.

Carlisle said he was told in the meeting with St Kilda leaders “just how upset they are and disappointed – obviously I’m disappointed in myself as well.

“But I take full responsibility for what’s happened and it was actually a really good meeting.

“It was unacceptable what happened but also they gave me a bit of a background on St Kilda and what they’ve been developing in the last 18-24 months.

“I took all that on board and understood what they were saying.”

Carlisle said it was very direct feedback.

“I will be better for it as well,” he said.

Asked about his punishments, Carlisle said it was a mutual agreement.

“I’m prepared to own up to what’s happened,” he added.

“I just want to move forward and be better for it as well.”

Carlisle again apologised to the Saints.

“I do regret it – it’s a big mistake,” he said.

Carlisle can play in the pre-season and the VFL, but will miss the first two regular season games.

He also has a suspended four-game ban.

Saints captain Nick Riewoldt is in Texas and took part in this week’s club meeting via telephone.

“We have come so far as a club and we will not let this incident divert us,” Riewoldt said in a Saints statement.

“Jake admitted he made a mistake and that’s important.

“The leadership group will now back ourselves to get the best out of him as both a player and person and support his efforts to win the confidence of the broader playing group and our fans.”

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