The following report is exclusive to AFL.com.au and can also be found on their website.
AFL PLAYERS will be named publicly, fined and suspended for four matches if they record a second strike by testing positive to illicit drugs under the League's new illicit drugs policy.
Under the new policy - which AFL football operations boss Mark Evans on Wednesday branded as tougher - players will receive a $5000 suspended fine for their first strike but will remain anonymous while receiving counselling and target testing.
Their name will be made public on the second strike, as they serve a four-match suspension.
A third strike will incur a 12-match suspension.
However, to achieve a transition from the existing policy to the new one, players already on strikes will be granted some leeway if they incur a strike under the new policy.
Players who have not incurred a strike for two years or longer will have a clean slate under the new policy.
A player who is already on one strike incurred in the past two years will receive a penalty equivalent to one strike under the new policy if they record another strike.
A player already on two strikes will be named publicly and receive a four-match suspension and the fine if they return a positive detection.
Evans said the AFL and the AFL Players Association would continue to work together on the illicit drugs policy to ensure it kept pace with what was occurring.
"Drug use in society, and that includes AFL footballers, is an incredibly complex issue. There is no silver bullet that just makes this go away," Evans said.
"Even though drug use in the playing group is below levels that exist in the broader community of the same demographic, we also believe the privilege of playing AFL football comes with the responsibility to the clubs and the game."