Throughout the AFL drug scandal, media scapegoats have caught the brunt of malicious insinuations. Speculation regarding Richmond’s perennial scapegoat, Dustin Martin, has again risen in the past few days.

The AFL confirmed that one other AFL player, aside from those at Essendon, had been taking performance-enhancing drugs. Martin’s tarnished history with former Tiger Daniel Connors led some AFL media circles to infer that Martin may be the other confirmed player that took performance enhancing drugs. Furthermore, rumours regarding Martin being sacked by Richmond also arose, yet clearly they have not come to fruition.

These two rumours regarding Martin may have been initially bolstered by the untimely resignation of Richmond’s general manager Craig Cameron. The somewhat suspect timing of his resignation was instantly clarified after Cameron said he is pursuing a career in the horse racing industry, but some theorists believe that this resignation indicates that Richmond may be the second club caught up in the doping frenzy.

It’s interesting to note that when the issue of recreational drugs in AFL arose, Dustin Martin was one of the first players to unfairly accused.

These allegations naturally have put Martin in the spotlight, yet it is outrageous at this stage to claim that Martin is a drug cheat or that he will be exiled from the Tigers, as there has been nary a shred of evidence to support this. Whilst Cameron’s resignation came in during a vicious time in the AFL, there has been no backlash towards his decision to leave, yet his resignation has allowed the speculation surrounding Martin to grow.

It seems that Martin is an easy target, and many in media circles have neglected his wonderful performance against the Indigenous All Stars and instead turned the spotlight back onto his chequered history. This is not to say that Martin is not the player speculated to be using performance-enhancing drugs, but rather the media should be very careful who it names as a potential drug cheat when there is little evidence to back up the speculation.

Media groups and certain personalities should be on edge about any claims they make regarding drugs in footy, especially following Stephen Dank’s announcement that he would be suing media outlets for $10mil for defamation. Insinuation over whether Martin took performance-enhancing drugs or if he will be sacked from the Tigers could be looked upon as defamation as well, depending on how it is phrased. In times like these where the dignity of the game may falter, it is imperative that journalists and media circles ensure that the integrity of the players is not overlooked whilst the chase is on to break the big stories first.

Martin’s profile as a tough guy was once built upon his ferocious game style, but that has ballooned to a reputation built upon rumours and speculation. It remains to be seen whether either of the rumours regarding Martin are true, but until anything is proven, it is best that this whole non-story is filed away.


  1. This is utter crap. All he has taken was a sleeping tablet and he was punished for it. If he is guilty prove it reveal the positive blood test! Its speculation until its proven 100% proven. If martin is named with or without proof then they have to name every other player tested. But my opinion is until it is proven beyond a doubt he should be labeled a drug taker!

    • Just suffer in your jocks. He is a tiger. Gonna tear you all a new one. Especially the Dees!! You could have had him….

  2. This is a great article, so much speculation occuring in the AFL regarding these issues and no one really knows, i understand the media has a job and so do the clubs and AFL to the extent even if they did know they cant comment but we all just have to patient sit on the fence and wait until hard evidence is provided to prove someone is guilty the current speculative cloud in the AFL is unhealthy and needs to come to an end as soon as possible though to decrease the possiblilities of “Scape Goats” used in the media

  3. Why doesn’t Richmond come out and deny it? Again, only a rumour, but it’s not performance enhancing drugs…………………..

  4. Is a natural unit. In his first year you could see the natural size in his legs. He has toned up and is gonna be a gun. Some will just have to come to terms with the fact that he wears a tigers guernsey

  5. I think Richmond should come out and ether support Martin or accept that it is trouth,
    It is ridiculous for Richmond to allow this saga to go on, shame on you Richmond,
    If you can’t protect your own who would,

    • Because Richmond have nothing to deny and allegations of this kind don’t even warrant a response.

      It’s a complete BS of a story being perpetrated by the lowest of scum in the media, faceless w**kers on twitter and losers like you that post comments of this nature.

      • It’s garnered plenty of response, just not from Richmond. In this day and age, silence is very loud indeed. Nicholas’ point about Richmond coming out publicly and backing their star is thus spot on the mark.

      • Yes. I agree with you 100%. The media needs to grow up and realise that richmond might actually have a chance this year . Richmond have absolutely nothing to deny and those who disagree are just another person looking to crush any Richmond fans hopes, in search of their own arrogant, selfish gratitude. Richmond are a very strong, respectful club and do not wish to buy into the whirlpool of lies that is being created at the moment. C’mon the tiges!! The roar is back!

  6. Jonno,

    Martin has a natrual advantage over the average man when it comes to putting on muscle, he is of Maori / Islander decent. His ancestors gave him this advantage when they ate plants for 1000’s of years that had natrually occuring steroids in them. He is genetically predisposed to putting muscle on.

  7. Unfortunately Twitter and other social media sites give a public voice to opinions that, twenty years ago, would have been only heard over a drip tray in the local pub.
    Our media have become so obsessed with being the first to break news, that verifying the facts has become secondary.

    In response to my fellow Essendon fans feeling victimised by the media, dont forget that the club went to the AFL first. We knew what was to come, but nothing stays ‘in house’ these days, so we’ve done the right thing by at least having some kind of management of the information.

  8. The first person who sprang to mind for me was of course Dusty….and I wasnt suprised when I threw his name into twitter a couple a days ago that I wasnt alone in my suspicion. For me its not his association with cousins and conners…its the incredible change in body shape that occured last preseason. A seemingly impossible combination of bulk and tone in a very short space of time. There was speculation then so naturally there is a lot now.

    • If anything Martin looked LEANER than his first season. He is a naturally big bodied player (reminds me of G Ablett senior).

Comments are closed.