AFL player investigated for alleged cocaine drug trafficking

Suspended AFL Melbourne Demons player Joel Smith is being investigated over cocaine trafficking allegations.
AFL player Joel Smith investigated for alleged cocaine trafficking and possession.

Suspended AFL football player from the Melbourne Demons, Joel Smith, is being investigated over cocaine trafficking allegations.

Smith was already under investigation for allegedly failing a post-match drug test.

The AFL has now confirmed sport’s anti-doping authority is investigating Smith over new alleged drug violations.

The 27-year-old will continue to be ruled out of play amid the ongoing inquiries.

Joel Smith

Smith has been with the Demons for eight seasons.

Last year, he was handed a provisional suspension after a drug test showed traces of cocaine in his system. This banned him from play and training. Smith had been awaiting the outcome of that ongoing investigation when new charges came to light this week.

The allegations against Smith are led by Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) — the government agency responsible for overseeing anti-doping programs in Australian sport.


This week the AFL announced SIA has brought three cocaine trafficking violations against the Demons player in addition to the failed test in 2023.

The AFL defines trafficking as “selling, giving, transporting, sending, delivering or distributing a Prohibited Substance by an Athlete … to any third party”.

The new allegations also include a cocaine possession violation against Smith from the day of the 2022 AFL semi-final.

Club response

The Melbourne Football Club released a statement last night saying it had been advised that further violations had been levelled against its player.

The club said it is not authorised to comment on matters still being inquired by SIA.

“We will wait for the investigation to be completed before we update our supporters further.”

Next steps

SIA will further investigate all allegations raised against Smith.

Pending its findings, Smith could be ordered to face the AFL’s anti-doping tribunal to determine his future in the game.

If any of the allegations against him are found to be true, Smith could face a years-long suspension from the AFL.

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