A HAIR test for illicit drugs will be among the various checks that Ben Cousins will be subjected to this month before he is allowed to be registered for the draft.
Cousins, who has applied to be reinstated as an AFL player after being deregistered for the 2008 season, has to undergo medical checks including the new hair test before the end of this month.
While the AFL Commission has the final say on whether Cousins is allowed to play at the highest level again, the commission is expected to lean heavily on medical opinion and expert advice including psychological assessments on how the fallen champion is progressing in his battle with drug abuse.
Cousins is expected to front the commission when it next meets, probably on November 17 or 18. If Cousins is cleared by the AFL, he would probably have the opportunity to nominate for the national draft in late November, but it's considered more likely that he will nominate for the pre-season draft in December.
The AFL's general manager of football operations, Adrian Anderson, yesterday outlined to the commission the steps Cousins would have to complete before he could be registered as a player and nominate for the draft.
That the AFL intends to hair-test Cousins is significant, since the test is thought to be able to detect drugs that were taken two months before the sample was gathered.
In practice this would mean Cousins would be asked to demonstrate that he was "clean" over a longer period than the usual blood and urine tests indicate.
Hair will be tested after the players' post-season break as part of a revamp of the illicit drugs policy.
Cousins' entire registration process represents uncharted territory for the AFL, which, in effect, is treating Cousins as completely separate from the three-strikes illicit drugs testing policy and the match-day testing overseen by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
St Kilda is considered the club most interested in recruiting Cousins.
Meanwhile, the AFL commission yesterday received a formal presentation from a group bidding for the Gold Coast licence, GC 17.
AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou described the presentation based on a 400-page document by GC17 chairman John Witheriff, board member Graeme Downie and development coach Guy McKenna as "very impressive".
"It is clear that GC17 has done an enormous amount of work over the past six months to build strong community and business support for an AFL team," Demetriou said in a statement.
"John was very passionate about how the Gold Coast community would provide the foundations for a strong and successful AFL club but was equally passionate about how an AFL team would return significant economic and social as well as sporting benefits to the Gold Coast community through increased jobs, greater economic and tourist activity and greater opportunities for local families."
In other news, Collingwood has hired former Brisbane Lions assistant coach and Hawthorn and Bulldogs forward Paul Hudson as its forward coach for next year.
Former Richmond coach Danny Frawley will take over from Neale Daniher as the AFL Coaches Association chief executive. The association also announced that Richmond football manager Paul Armstrong, who will leave the Tigers at the end of the month, will become the AFLCA's coaching development manager.