Joel Smith: Melbourne Demons utility could receive ban of up to two years after positive cocaine test

Samantha Rogers
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Melbourne utility Joel Smith is facing a minimum two-year suspension.
Melbourne utility Joel Smith is facing a minimum two-year suspension. Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Melbourne utility Joel Smith is facing a minimum two-year suspension after he was reportedly found guilty of taking a performance-enhancing drug following a positive test for cocaine.

The AFL was rocked by the bombshell revelation last year that Smith had tested positive for the banned substance and its metabolite benzoylecgonine following a home and away match in 2023.

He was provisionally suspended by the AFL in October as Sport Integrity Australia began their investigation, supported by the league.

Sign up to The Nightly's newsletters.

Get the first look at the digital newspaper, curated daily stories and breaking headlines delivered to your inbox.

Email Us
By continuing you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

The Herald Sun reported on Wednesday that Smith remains provisionally banned after being informed by SIA on Tuesday that he had been found guilty of taking a performance-enhancing drug in a pre-Christmas hearing.

“The AFL advises that the matter involving Joel Smith of the Melbourne Football Club being investigated by Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) under the Australian Football Anti-Doping Code is ongoing,” AFL spokesperson Jay Allen said.

Joel Smith of the Demons exits the field after being defeated by the Carlton Blues in the AFL Semi-final between the Melbourne Demons and Carlton Blues at the MCG in Melbourne, Friday, September 15, 2023. (AAP Image/James Ross) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Joel Smith of the Demons exits the field after being defeated by the Carlton Blues in the AFL Semi-final between the Melbourne Demons and Carlton Blues at the MCG in Melbourne, Friday, September 15, 2023. (AAP Image/James Ross) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY Credit: JAMES ROSS/AAPIMAGE

“Joel remains provisionally suspended and as such he is not permitted to participate in Melbourne’s pre-season training when it recommences in the coming days.

“Due to the ongoing nature of the anti-doping process, the AFL will not comment further at this time.”

The report states the 27-year-old is expected to challenge the findings. It is believed he will argue the amount of cocaine found in his system was minuscule, ruling out the performance-enhancing finding.

Smith tested positive for cocaine on game day last year, following a urine sample collected, as part of routine drug testing, after the Demons defeated Hawthorn at the MCG in round 23.

He kicked two goals in the 27-point win on August 20.

SIA reportedly did not impose a penalty but the report states the findings pointed to at least a two-year ban.

A suspension could be a huge blow to Melbourne’s flag hopes this season, following two straight-sets exits since their 2021 premiership victory.

Smith played in both of the Demons’ finals appearances, kicking four goals across two games, and is contracted until the end of 2024.

Latest Edition

The front page of The Nightly for 15-04-2024

Latest Edition

Edition Edition 15 April 202415 April 2024

Justice Lee finds Lehrmann ‘hell-bent on having sex’ with Higgins and ‘didn’t care if she knew what was going on’