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Collingwood’s Lachlan Keeffe faces a ban of up to four years after testing positive to a performance-enhancing drug. AAP/Joe Castro

AFL illicit drug reform needs to be about more than punishment

There may be career-ending sanctions for sportspeople who have inadvertently tested positive to a performance-enhancing drug after having consumed an illicit drug.
The process by which women become fans is more complicated and interesting than people previously imagined. AAP Image/Joe Castro

Sexually transmitted fandom? Why women really follow AFL

Men might believe that women don't have what it takes to be serious sports fans but new research into female AFL fans proves them wrong. Some women are footy converts, some have it in the blood – and some were born to it.
An Australian study found certain elite athletes were more at risk of taking drugs than others. Lee Morley/Flickr

Sports stars do take drugs – but not as much as the rest of us

Our study found that 8% of the 1,684 elite Australian athletes we surveyed said they had used at least one of six illicit drugs – including ecstasy, cocaine and cocaine – over the previous year.
Sports rights are seen as critical to the survival of free-to-air broadcasters. Flickr/Beau Lebens

Are sport broadcast rights worth the money?

Free-to-air broadcasters will pay big price for right to broadcast AFL games from 2017-2021. But there are ways networks can leverage more value.
Hawthorn fans watched the players train this week - everyone is a winner when it comes to the AFL grand final. AAP/Julian Smith

Why AFL grand final is the most successful event in Australia

When the Sydney Swans take on Hawthorn at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday, it won’t just be AFL fans cheering. As Australia’s dominant sport competition, the AFL generates more revenue than any…
Sydney fans had much to celebrate after beating Hawthorn in the 2012 AFL Grand at the MCG in Melbourne.Can the Swans do it again this year? AAP Image/Joe Castro

Who will be the weakest link on AFL Grand Final day?

Hawthorn has recovered after a rough patch this season, with key players shaking off injuries and its tenacious coach returning after a health scare. So why have the Hawks earned their spot on Saturday’s…
Sacking Brenton Sanderson as coach may rebound on the Adelaide Crows if the club doesn’t have a strong replacement ready to step in. AAP/Ben Macmahon

Sack the coach? Wait, there’s more to fixing a club than that

The football season is almost over, but the coach-sacking season has just begun. In the AFL, the Adelaide Crows sacked coach Brenton Sanderson despite only recently having extended his contract. Media…
Robinvale footballers have been recruited into an active campaign to heal community divisions, which includes playing an annual Harmony Match. Facebook/Robinvale Football Netball Club

A world away from the MCG, every round is multicultural round

Standing in the social rooms of Robinvale Football Netball Club on presentation night is perhaps like standing in any sports club in regional Australia when their vote count is on. There are the usual…
In football’s biggest week, Franklin is football’s biggest story. AAP Image/NEWZULU/HUGH PETERSWALD

Buddy Franklin has the swagger – but can he be an Aussie hero?

It’s early in the fourth quarter and Lance “Buddy” Franklin is enjoying himself. Celebrating his 200th game against St Kilda at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) last month, the Sydney Swans forward has…
Essendon faces the prospect of not being able to field a team next year. AAP Image/Julian Smith

ASADA v Essendon: next steps for the winners and losers

Federal Court Justice John Middleton’s decision to uphold the legality of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) investigation into the potential use of banned substances at the Essendon Football…
After a nine-match winning streak, Richmond lost to Port Adelaide by 57 points in last week’s elimination final. AAP/David Mariuz

How finals fever can make a footy player better – or worse

The AFL final series – with the semi-finals starting today – is one of the most ferocious and toughest contests we will see in Australian sport. Behind the scenes, there is no doubt a fair percentage of…
Jonathan Brown is not the only professional football player to recently retire because of head injuries. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Repeated head injuries highlight gaps in sports concussion management

Brisbane Lions champion Jonathan Brown’s premature exit from the AFL this week after suffering yet another concussion was in many ways unsurprising. His friends and fans describe him as a “warrior” who…
FIFA suggests that 270 million people are involved in playing or officiating football around the world, with billions also tuning into the World Cup every four years. EPA/Sebastiao Moreira

It may be the World Cup, but how global is the ‘world game’?

In 1863, the newly formed English Football Association (FA) drew up and published the first Laws of the Game of football. The aim was to provide a set of universal rules to govern the various forms of…
The key, as so often in sport, is timing. Joe Castro/AAP Image

Aussie Rules rules thanks to the eight-hour working day

Why is AFL the main sport in Victoria and the other southern States while New South Wales and Queensland follow rugby? That’s long been a vexed question, but we may now be closer to an answer. In Melbourne…
Will Essendon players face sanction if it is proven that they took banned substances during the 2012 AFL season? AAP/Joe Castro

What happens if Essendon players are issued ‘show cause’ notices?

Speculation continues to mount that Essendon Football Club players will face sanctions from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) over the club’s controversial 2011-12 supplements program…
Despite the increasing prominence of women’s sport, the number of women in leadership positions in professional sport is still low. Why? AAP/Joe Castro

What’s holding back women from leadership roles in Australian sport?

Recently, it was reported that the AFL, the Australian Sports Commission and the Richmond Football Club have jointly funded research to “investigate the real and perceived blocks to women reaching the…

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