The league chief disclosed in an explosive interview with Fairfax Media that one of the nation’s most famous sports organisations and 16 times premiers, could suffer hits amounting to millions of dollars and funding cuts depending on outcome of an Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigation.
Demetriou revealed that at least two AFL players have come forward with more potentially damning information on what has been described as “irregular practice” at their respective clubs.
It has been widely anticipated since Essendon chairman David Evans announced early last month that he had called in ASADA to conduct an inquiry into possible substance abuse at the Bombers, that players from other clubs could also have used illegal performance enhancing material.
''Since the ACC findings a couple of players have already come forward. 'They both said: 'I wanted to come forward before but I didn't','' Demetriou told the Age newspaper in Melbourne.
''The whistleblower service will protect individuals who come forward, guarantee confidentiality and offer reduced sanctions to those who put their hands up and, in some cases, no sanctions."
Demetriou also bluntly eluded to severe loss of earnings to clubs guilty of substance abuses.
“We're talking about potential funding cuts, millions of dollars in lost sponsorship, brand damage and potential litigation against board members,” he said.
“That's to use the analogy of what's happening at Essendon at the moment.”