Friday, 23 August 2019
Josh Thomas says being
dropped from Collingwood's senior side has helped him recapture his best form ahead of the finals.
"My form had been pretty consistent but I was just a little bit down. I was thinking, 'It'll turn, it'll turn,' – but it didn't really," he said.
"I hadn't missed a game for a while and I'd played a similar role the whole time, so maybe I got a little bit stale. I wasn't hitting the scoreboard as much and probably didn't look as sharp as I had in the past, and sometimes that can be a hard cycle to break.
"Whether I was back there for just a week or multiple weeks, I just wanted to put my best foot forward. It was an opportunity to run around with some freedom and try to get my hands on the footy – a bit of a circuit-breaker."
Thursday, 27 September 2018
As he prepares to play
in a Grand Final with Collingwood, Josh Thomas reflects on his journey back to AFL ranks since returning from a two-year doping ban.
"I felt like when I played my first senior game (after the ban) that was a massive occasion because coming back onto the list wasn't enough – I wanted to play an AFL game because I felt like that would complete it," Thomas said.
"Then when I was in the team I wanted to play again and again, and now we're in a Grand Final.
"The goalposts change, I guess, but from the redemption side of it – if you want to call it that – I certainly feel like my teammates and my club have already welcomed me back.
"I don't need to prove anything to them."
Monday, 16 July 2018
Josh Thomas completes his remarkable
comeback from an ASADA drugs ban after agreeing to a three-year deal with Collingwood.
Thomas has enjoyed an impressive 2018 season so far, kicking 27.9 and five bags of three or more goals.
Saturday, 7 April 2018
Josh Thomas kicks a career-high five goals against Carlton and says he is starting to feel like an AFL player again after returning from a two-year suspension due to a positive drug test.
"There's no replacement for playing. I've felt like I've got my legs back a bit and then I had the momentum and I was able to get a good pre-season," Thomas said.
Monday, 2 October 2017
Josh Thomas signs a new deal with Collingwood to remain at the club in 2018.
After serving a WADA suspension in 2015 and 2016, Thomas broke into Collingwood's senior team in round 15 after a strong start to the VFL season, and then held his spot for the final nine home and away games.
Monday, 12 December 2016
Lachie Keeffe and Josh Thomas return to training as their two-year ban for breaching the AFL Anti-Doping Code enters its final stage.
Wednesday, 4 November 2015
Lachie Keeffe and Josh Thomas will become eligible to play again on February 9, 2017 after being officially informed of the terms of their two-year ban under the AFL's Anti-Doping Code.
"We are pleased with the outcome as it gives them [Keeffe and Thomas] an opportunity to come straight into the NAB Cup and be ready for round one (2017)," their manager Tim Hazell said.
"We've had great support from [Lawyer] Ben Ihle, the AFLPA and Collingwood."
Monday, 14 September 2015
Collingwood has delisted a further four players with Hawthorn premiership player Clinton Young and journeyman midfielder Sam Dwyer headlining the club's list changes.
The Magpies have also decided to release rookies Tony Armstrong and Michael Tanteit, while Lachlan Keeffe and Josh Thomas have been let go as part of their two-year suspensions for taking banned drug clenbuterol.
Wednesday, 12 August 2015
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley will keep in touch with banned players Lachie Keeffe and Josh Thomas, saying they must decide on their futures.
"That's going to be their choice, but between now and draft time this year, it's my intent to sit down with both of them individually and actually ask them what they want to do with their lives," Buckley said.
"Is football a strong part of that?
"Now that Monday has passed, it probably gives the boys the first opportunity to actually sit back and go 'OK, that's what it is, I know exactly where I stand with the club, I know exactly where I stand with the AFL and ASADA, I know what my future looks like in some shape or form, is this really what I want to do?'"
Monday, 10 August 2015
Lachie Keeffe and Josh Thomas have accepted two-year bans after testing positive to banned substance clenbuterol.
The Pies pair will be delisted and have been fined about $50,000 each – with part of their 2015 player payments to be withheld, as required by the AFL and the World Anti-Doping Authority.
Keeffe and Thomas, who have been provisionally suspended since their positive A-sample result in March, will not be eligible to return to AFL until the 2017 season.
The Magpies have committed to re-drafting the duo as rookies later this year, should they choose to nominate and are not selected by a rival club first.
Reading prepared statements at a press conference on Monday, Keeffe and Thomas said they believed the banned substance found its way into their systems after they took illicit drugs during a night out.
"While we are unable to be absolutely certain how this substance came to be in our system, we can only assume it occurred during a night out (in February) prior to testing in which we took illicit drugs," Thomas, 23, said.
"Although we can't be sure, we believe the substance we took was laced with clenbuterol."
The pair stressed they did not knowingly take the performance-enhancing drug.
Keeffe, 25, hoped his and Thomas' mistakes didn't become "a life sentence" and said they wanted to return to AFL ranks in 2017.
"The past few months have been really hard not to play football for the club that gave us that opportunity as teenagers," Keeffe said.
"We deeply regret our actions, we take full responsibility for our mistakes and we accept the consequences.
"We also hope others will learn from our mistakes.
"We also hope that an error of judgement does not become a life sentence.
"Having worked so hard to build AFL careers, we are now committed to starting again and we hope to regain everyone's faith and trust and return to the AFL in 2017."
Collingwood chief Gary Pert says Lachlan Keeffe and Josh Thomas' two-year bans for taking a performance-enhancing drug should sound a warning to other Australian athletes.
"Anyone in our game who chooses to consume illicit drugs must also from now on accept that they may also be consuming a performance-enhancing drug," Pert said.
"The events that have brought us here today I believe amount to a turning point in our code, and more broadly for Australian sport.
"The decision to take an illicit drug, which up until now would have held no consequences in some sports and in the AFL seen an anonymous strike recorded, could now result in a major sanction or the end of your career."
Wednesday, 29 July 2015
Lachlan Keeffe and Josh Thomas have been handed infraction notices by the AFL after tests revealed they had taken the performance-enhancing drug clenbuterol.
Keeffe and Thomas are now facing suspensions, with Magpies CEO Gary Pert saying it is up to the players to decide whether to accept likely two-year bans.
"It's not like we've been involved in the process, but from here what we believe are the next steps is for the players to decide whether they're going to contest – whether they want to say they accept the ruling or not, or the severity of the penalty," Pert told SEN radio.
"Once they've made that decision, they'll advise ASADA. So there will be no contest or they decide to contest it. If they contest it, ASADA advises the AFL, who then organises a (Anti-Doping) Tribunal hearing at some stage."
Sunday, 14 June 2015
Collingwood believes Lachlan Keeffe and Josh Thomas are likely to receive two-year bans from the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal after testing positive to the performance enhancing drug clenbuterol.
"I wouldn't say their careers are over. They're in a process where it appears a likely outcome is a two-year suspension, from everything that we're hearing," Magpies CEO Gary Pert told Triple M radio.
"That's serious but they're still young guys."
Tuesday, 31 March 2015
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire says there's no room at the club for Lachlan Keeffe and Josh Thomas if they're guilty of deliberately taking performance-enhancing drugs.
"I'm pretty straight forward on these things; if people have taken performance-enhancing drugs you get your whack – it's as simple as that," McGuire said.
"If you haven't, if there's mitigating circumstances, then let's work through that situation.
"I want to underline this 15 times; when the players were told the news they were absolutely flabbergasted and it wasn't acting or anything else like that – they had no idea whatsoever in the first instance.
"I'll hopefully speak to them in the next 48 hours, but their position is they have no idea how this could have happened."
The theory that Collingwood pair Lachie Keeffe and Josh Thomas could have eaten beef contaminated by clenbuterol in New Zealand has been rejected by the Kiwi beef industry.
Keeffe and Thomas tested positive to the banned drug several days after returning from a week-long training camp in Queenstown, New Zealand, where they reportedly ate out several times, including a steak meal.
Australian cyclist Michael Rogers was cleared after testing positive to clenbuterol in 2013 when authorities accepted he could have eaten contaminated meat while racing in China two months earlier.
While clenbuterol is used in livestock in some countries, New Zealand beef industry association chairman Bill Falconer was adamant that was not the case in his country.
"It's just not something that has cropped up in New Zealand," Falconer told Radio 3AW.
"Obviously you can read stuff to say that there had been rumours of it happening in China and Spain but not in New Zealand."
Former ASADA head Richard Ings also dismissed the possibility.
"Clenbuterol is not present in the Australian food chain. It is not present in the New Zealand food chain, it has occurred in China and Mexico but it is not an issue here," Ings told 3AW.
"So the players will need to find the right explanation where this clenbuterol came from.
"It's a veterinary drug in Australia, it's a veterinary drug in New Zealand; it's only approved for use in racehorses.
"But as with all these performance enhancing drugs you can get it online and there is a person at the back of some gyms that will sell it to you. It is commonly abused in bodybuilding and other sporting activities."
Monday, 30 March 2015
Collingwood pai Josh Thomas and Lachlan Keeffe test positive to a performance-enhancing drug, clenbuterol.
Clenbuterol is also known to reduce fat and promote weight loss although Magpies director of football Neil Balme said he could not see why Keeffe or Thomas would need to take the drug.
"It was disbelief for both of them. They both said 'We haven't done this'," Balme said.
"They're claiming that they're not guilty.
"We know what it is (the drug), which is one of the reasons why we think 'Why would they? How would they?'
"If you look at both of these players, it doesn't make any sense for either of them to use this because they're both quite lean."
Magpies coach Nathan Buckley says he never expected Lachlan Keeffe and Josh Thomas to test positive for a banned performance enhancing drug.
"We were devastated to find that out as a fact," Buckley said.
"They're very decent, upstanding young men.
"If you asked me a couple that wouldn't have tested positive to anything, they'd be right up there these two boys.
"They're cleanskins, and yet they've returned a positive sample to a performance-enhancing drug."
Thursday, 6 November 2014
Josh Thomas is unlikely to be involved in any ball work until after Christmas after it was discovered he suffered tendon damage in his hand while on holiday.
Thomas cut his hand while fending off a mugger in Los Angeles during his post-season holiday.
He had the injury stitched up in LA but it needed to be repaired back in Australia when the wound became infected.
It was then that the tendon damage was found.
Friday, 26 July 2013
Lachlan Keeffe, Josh Thomas and Sam Dwyer sign new deals with Collingwood, keeping them at the club until the end of 2015.
Wednesday, 20 June 2012
Pies youngster Josh Thomas will play his first game in almost a year after recovering from chronic foot problems.
"It's been a bumpy road for Josh over the last 18 months in particular," Magpies coach Nathan Buckley said.
"He's had issues with stress reactions in his feet, so we think we've ... found the light at the end of the tunnel.
"He's trained really strongly over the last four to six weeks and he's relatively pain free, so he get the chance to pull the guernsey on and run around and do what all of our players love to do, and that's play the game."
Friday, 4 May 2012
Young magpie midfielder Josh Thomas is slowly emerging from a dismal run of shin, calf and foot injuries.
"We're actually starting to see blue sky for the first time for probably 12 months," Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said.
"He's coming back. He's had a wretched 18 months and you couldn't possibly script it any worse for what he's had to cope with.
"We're pretty confident we'll see him back in four to six weeks playing in the VFL and get some solid footy into him and see where we go from there."