Mumford AFL return doubt amid powder probe

The AFL has initiated a probe after a video emerged showing former AFL star Shane Mumford snorting a white substance.

NATHAN VARDY of the Eagles is challenged by SHANE MUMFORD of the Giants during the AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the West Coast Eagles at Spotless Stadium in Sydney, Australia.
NATHAN VARDY of the Eagles is challenged by SHANE MUMFORD of the Giants during the AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the West Coast Eagles at Spotless Stadium in Sydney, Australia. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

Grainy three-year-old footage has cast doubt on former premiership star Shane Mumford's prospects of making an AFL comeback.

The AFL is investigating vision of the ex-GWS, Sydney and Geelong ruckman appearing to snort a white powder while encouraged by chanting on-lookers.

The Giants, his current employer, confirmed the shirtless man in the video was Mumford and said the 172-gamer has expressed deep remorse, embarrassment and distress over his actions.

"The club understands the incident took place in 2015 shortly after Shane had suffered a season-ending injury in round 11 that year," a GWS statement read.

"The club is extremely distressed by the footage and views Shane's actions as completely counter to the club's values."

The AFL is likely to punish Mumford, given what happened after similar incidents involving St Kilda defender Jake Carlisle and Fremantle player Harley Bennell.

If Mumford decides to attempt a comeback, the league could hand him a suspension of around two or three games.

News broke of the video on Tuesday morning and Mumford's name was made public just as the AFLW draft was starting in Melbourne.

AFL executives, including chief executive Gillon McLachlan, quickly left the draft function without comment after the first round of selections.

Mumford, who won a premiership with Sydney in 2012, worked as a part-time ruck coach for GWS this season after being forced into retirement at the end of 2017 due to a serious navicular injury.

Outside of football, Mumford made his professional boxing debut this year under the management of former AFL player agent Ricky Nixon.

But the 32-year-old, whose foot has reportedly healed, was in-line for a possible shock AFL return next season to bolster the Giants' ruck stocks following the loss of versatile tall Rory Lobb.

Giants football manager Wayne Campbell told The Age earlier this month Mumford's potential second-coming was dependent on his fitness and desire.

GWS has indicated it intends to stick by Mumford but it's unclear whether the revelation has sunk his push for a second stint in the AFL.

"The club is disappointed in Shane's choice of actions at this time and also understands that Shane requires a level of medical support with his health and well-being in mind," the statement said.

"The club will be working with Shane to ensure he engages in a rehabilitation program along with a range of other measures."

Carlisle was banned for two matches after a Snapchat video of the defender filming himself snorting a substance was aired following his trade from Essendon to St Kilda in 2015.

Bennell, then at Gold Coast, was stood down for two games in 2015 after images were published of him with an illicit substance from two years earlier.


AAP

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