Update 6:21pm,3rd February 2010,Darren Andrews,Melbourne Australia,Newsvine-Geelong's Mathew Stokes faces the possibility of a life ban from AFL football if he is found guilty of the trafficking offence he was charged with on Wednesday.
Stokes, a premiership winning small forward, was stood down by Geelong Football Club after he was arrested and charged with possession and trafficking following a police raid.
AFL football operations manager Adrian Anderson said that the league took a very dim view of any drug charge, specifically one involving trafficking.
Under the WADA code that the AFL has signed up to, Stokes could face anything from a ban of four years to a lifetime if found guilty of trafficking.
"We've been kept informed today by Geelong Football Club and Victoria Police about charges brought against Mathew Stokes for possession and trafficking of cocaine," Anderson said.
"Any charge of trafficking is a very serious matter and one that Geelong and the AFL takes extremely seriously."
"The AFL supports Geelong's decision to stand Mathew Stokes down until further notice. Under the WADA code, the standard penalties for trafficking range from four years suspension to a lifetime ban."
The AFL is still seeking more details on the situation, but Anderson described it as a body blow for the image of the code.
"It's really disappointing that any of our players be implicated in a charge of this nature. Exremely disappointing," he said.
"We have to bear in mind that there's a charge and there's a very serious charge at that. We're seeking further information from Victoria Police and Geelong and any other matters in terms of the WADA code, depend on that information."
"Any charge of trafficking is an extremely serious matter and one that the club and the AFL take very seriously."
Anderson said the AFL is confident that there were no other AFL players involved.