The Fremantle Football Club has received formal notification from WA Police that three players who attended a gathering of seven people at a home on Sunday night have been cleared of any wrongdoing.
The Club has however imposed sanctions on Luke Ryan and Jason Carter.
Ryan and first-year player Michael Frederick attended the gathering at the home Carter shares with his partner.
Ryan and Carter have both been fined $3000 ($2000 suspended) and will be required to undertake yet to be determined community service.
Frederick was not sanctioned given he was only at the private residence for a short time and was unaware that other people would be attending.
While a police investigation found that the players were not in breach of Closure and Restriction Directions laws applying to gatherings in private residences, a video posted on social media showed they did not adhere to health advice regarding 1.5m social distancing in a private residence.
Fremantle CEO Simon Garlick said the Club was disappointed in the player's actions.
“Even though the gathering technically met the private residence requirements of one person per four square metres, the players acted contrary to the 1.5-metre social distancing advice the rest of the community has been following,” Garlick said.
“We have to hold ourselves to a higher standard, regardless of the outcome of the police investigation. The wider community is doing a great job in helping to flatten the curve to reduce the spread of Covid-19, and we have to uphold our end of the bargain.
“The resumption of the 2020 season will depend not only on approvals by governments and health authorities but also the trust, understanding and support of a community already impacted by Covid-19.
“There is a well held community expectation that if we want to help flatten the curve and get somewhere back to normality, our players have a leading role to play in following social distancing rules without exception.
“The AFL and all clubs are also doing everything possible to get the season underway again, and part of being able to play games is demonstrating that we can adhere to the protocols that have been set and which everyone else in the community is required to follow.”
Garlick said the players were sanctioned in consultation with the player leadership group.
“There is a lot at stake regarding the resumption of the season and this should serve as a timely reminder for all of our players to ensure we have 100 per cent compliance with social distancing guidelines,” he said.
“Our players are not entitled to any dispensation or feel in any way that they can act outside how everyone else in the community is required to behave.”