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Scandal a 'wake-up call' for players

THE investigation into Essendon's supplement program should prompt players throughout the league to become more conscious of what they put into their bodies, says former Bombers forward Scott Lucas.

Lucas, who works in player management with Phoenix Management, said his firm had discussed the club's current plight with all of its clients to ensure they were asking the right questions of their team's staff and were fully across the AFL's rules.

He said his priority was to ensure his two Essendon clients, David Zaharakis and Ariel Steinberg, felt supported. ''We've chatted to our guys. We've spoken to our players at Essendon but we've spoken to our other players as well, just to highlight to them how they can take a more active interest and take more control of certain situations,'' Lucas said.

''We've told them there are certain questions they should be asking, and that there are things they need to make sure they know to do with the AFL rules and regulations.

''The key point with the Essendon guys is to keep them up to date with what's happening, but mostly we want to reaffirm to the guys what they can and can't do and make sure they're aware of whatever it is they're putting in their bodies.

''I think players in general just need to ask as many questions as they can, about everything. There's no silly question, is there?''


Neither Zaharakis nor Steinberg played for Essendon in Friday night's NAB Cup opener against Collingwood and the Bulldogs, but Lucas said he believed the players were coping well with the uncertain situation in which they had found themselves.

''As an ex-Essendon player your first concern is for the players because you know what they'd be going through. You put yourself in their position and think, 'would I have done anything differently?' Possibly not,'' he said.

''You really do rely on the people within the club who are employed as experts in the area to do the right thing, and I think most people at most clubs would say that.

''I thought the players handled things very well on Friday night. No doubt it's a challenging time because whilst they've had some feedback, they're still quite unsure what the outcome will be.''