Collingwood forward Jack Ginnivan will miss the Magpies’ first two matches in 2023, after confessing to taking illicit drugs.
Video emerged on Saturday of Ginnivan with the substance in a toilet cubicle at the Torquay Hotel, following a Magpies training camp in Lorne in January.
He will now miss the Magpies’ matches against Geelong and Port Adelaide, while receiving a strike under the AFL’s illicit drugs policy and a $5000 suspended fine.
Ginnivan will also be unable to take part in the Magpies’ pre-season practice matches, or play in the VFL during his suspension.
Speaking to 7 News, the 20-year old expressed his remorse for what he described as ‘lack of judgement’.
“Utterly disappointed in myself, I feel like I’ve let 44 of my best mates down… the club, hundreds of thousands of people,” he said.
“Obviously a few drinks, a lack of judgement at the time. I can’t really speak on why I did it.”
7 News reportedly began an investigation into Ginnivan after being made aware of the vision, which the goalsneak did not know existed until Thursday.
For Ginnivan, telling coach Craig McRae was the hardest job of all.
“It was a struggle to get my words out… he’s put so much trust in me in the last year,” Ginnivan said.
“He’s always had my back in the media, anywhere, so to hurt him like that, it’s going to be a challenge to overcome, but I know he loves me and I love him.”
Magpies general manager of football Graeme Wright said the club is ‘incredibly disappointed’ in Ginnivan.
“As a Club, we are incredibly disappointed to have observed vision showing Jack Ginnivan with an illicit substance,” Wrght said in a statement released by the club.
“The vision was captured by a member of the public following the Club’s pre-season camp in January and was distributed to media in recent days.
“All players and staff are continually educated on appropriate behaviours and we expect everyone at our Club to uphold the highest of standards as representatives of the wider Collingwood community, our Members, supporters and corporate partners.
“We will continue to work closely with Jack, who has owned his behaviour, to provide him with the support and continual education he needs as he continues his journey at Collingwood.”
Ginnivan became one of the game’s most polarising players during a breakout 2022, with his penchant for winning high contact free kicks drawing ire from rival fans in early rounds, and from his own when umpires controversially cracked down on the tactic late in the season.
He bagged 40 goals for the season and missed just two matches, including three in the Pies’ semi final win over Fremantle.
“The AFL wishes to reiterate that AFL Players are well-educated when it comes to the harms associated with the use of illicit substances, and have a responsibility to themselves, their clubs and their professional careers to uphold community expectations,” league EGM Andrew Dillon said in a statement on Saturday.
Ginnivan will also be required to undertake education beyond current mandatory illicit substances training.