Richmond star Dion Prestia is under investigation over a photo that shows him without a mask and with a group that appears to be participating in a “pub crawl” on Saturday night.
A photo posted by Instagram user “daphfourny” went viral on Monday. The photo features Prestia, with his mask below his chin, posing with several others holding small bottles of whiskey. The photo is accompanied by a caption reading “crawling from pub to pub”.
A source close to the situation said Prestia was not an active participant in the crawl and that he had gone to get a takeaway meal before heading home.
The Tigers and league are aware of the photo, with Richmond confirming late on Monday afternoon that the circumstances of the photo were being investigated.
“The Richmond Football Club is aware that Dion Prestia was out in Richmond on Saturday night. The club has made the AFL aware,” the Tigers said in a media release.
“The club has no further comment to make until the incident has been investigated.”
AFL players in Melbourne are under restrictions that extend even beyond the state’s lockdown laws, but it is unclear whether Prestia – who a source close to the situation said lived nearby to where the photo was taken – had breached any of the league’s rules.
A “pub crawl” in Richmond on Saturday was investigated by Victoria Police, but no charges were laid as it technically complied with the lockdown laws. The Victorian government on Monday announced the extension of the state’s lockdown until next month and reintroduced a curfew, in part as a response to several incidents in which Victorians were not treating the state’s COVID-19 situation seriously enough.
The Tigers, all but eliminated from the finals race after losing to Greater Western Sydney on Friday night at Marvel Stadium, meanwhile announced on Monday that captain Trent Cotchin would miss their final round clash with Hawthorn – almost certainly Richmond’s last match for the season – with a PCL ligament sprain suffered during the second quarter against the Giants. Cotchin played out the match, finishing with 31 disposals.