Crowley on outer after testing positive to banned substance

THE mystery surrounding the absence of Dockers midfielder Ryan Crowley from the NAB Challenge has been answered, with confirmation he has been provisionally suspended after testing positive to a banned substance on a match-day last season.

Crowley's positive sample was taken after Fremantle's round 17 clash against Greater Western Sydney, reportedly caused by a painkiller he took of his own accord.

The 31-year-old played on until the end of the season, which came with a semi-final loss to Port Adelaide.

When asked last week about Crowley's situation, Dockers coach Ross Lyon said the 2011 best and fairest winner was "working through an issue that doesn't see him available to play at the minute".

The tagger yesterday released a statement thanking his wife Samara, his family and the Fremantle club for their support.

"I have my own legal advisers working on the matter and they have also been a great support," Crowley said.

"I will continue to fully cooperate on this matter with ASADA and the AFL. At this stage, I'm looking forward to the AFL Tribunal hearing taking place."

AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said the league had issued an infraction notice against Crowley under its

Anti-Doping Code, with a date for the hearing yet to be set.

Fremantle chief executive Steve Rosich said the AFL first informed him there was an issue with Crowley's sample in late August, but the delay in taking action was caused by the time it took to process the 'B' sample.

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