Port Adelaide duo Peter Ladhams and Dan Houston have been suspended while the club has been fined for breaking the AFL’s strict biosecurity measures.
Ladhams was hit with a three-match suspension while Houston will sit out for two weeks after the pair were involved in a late-night house party.
Ladhams, 22, invited Houston and a group of friends to his house after Port Adelaide’s Round 10 win over the Bulldogs earlier this month.
The Port Adelaide Football Club received a $50,000 sanction with $25,000 suspended and the other $25,000 to come out of the club’s soft cap next season.
Ladhams’ housemate, Adelaide Crows young gun Billy Frampton, was initially caught up the breach but later cleared following the investigation.
“As a club, we respect the privilege we have to play and the conditions under which we must live in order to play,” Port Adelaide GM of football Chris Davies said.
“We have provided our players, coaches and staff with regular updates and education on the AFL return to play protocols, so to find ourselves in this position is disappointing.
“Port Adelaide has taken our responsibilities toward the global pandemic seriously since the outset, but ultimately everyone has a responsibility.
“Pete and Dan knew the rules and will now have to work hard to earn back the respect of their teammates and coaching staff.
“The AFL considered Pete’s breach to be worth extra on the basis that he was the instigator of the gathering.
“As a club, code and as a community we have to remain vigilant and disciplined against the spread of COVID-19. There is absolutely no room for complacency.”
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Following the sanctions handed down, the pair was remorseful and took full responsibility for breaking the AFL’s strict COVID-19 protocols.
“I’m very embarrassed to put the club and my teammates in this position. There was no excuse for my complacency and I fully accept the sanction handed down by the AFL,” Ladhams said.
“The club has gone out of their way to brief us on all processes related to the AFL return to play protocols. I now have to work my backside off to win back the respect of my teammates.”
Houston added: “Our entire club has worked so hard this season with all the challenges that have come our way and I feel like I have let the boys down with this breach.
“I take responsibility for my own actions so I fully accept the sanctions handed down by the AFL. I am disappointed but I will learn from my error in judgement.”
Just last week the Sydney Swans were involved in a COVID-19 breach when young star Elijah Taylor attempted to sneak in his partner into the team’s hotel while they were in isolation.