The AFL is investigating a massive leak of nude and graphic images of more than 45 past and present players, which have been illegally shared across social media.
A Google Drive link which contains folders of players, some of which are premiership winners and even Brownlow Medalists, have been circulating across social media and dating platforms.
The Toorak Times has identified that the original upload to the Goggle Drive actually occurred in July 2022 albeit only making the news cycle now.
The account that purports to be the owner of the images is in the name of “Sue Somebody” with an email address displayed “firstname.lastname@example.org”. It is unknown if this email address has been used for any other purpose.
The AFL has confirmed the Integrity Unit is investigating and that police and the eSafety Commissioner have been informed of the leak.
The report states that several clubs had contacted the AFL once the images began circulating.
“The AFL has been made aware of private and personal images of past and present AFL players being distributed and shared illegally and without consent after being contacted by a number of AFL clubs,” a spokesman told the Toorak Times.
“The images have been circulated by an anonymous person/s and it is alleged the files feature private and personal images of past and present AFL players however it is important to note that many of the images are yet to be verified for identification.
“There appears to have been significant work involved in gathering the images and creating files for distribution.
“The AFL has no information regarding why the personal images have been circulated illegally and without consent or what the motive is in doing so.”
It has been conceded by authorities that the actual true identities of the people depicted in the photographs has not been confirmed so an assumption that the individuals have not given permission or consent would have a hard time standing up in court.
The AFL had reportedly been working with the eSafety Commissioner for the past 15 hours to remove the images from social media.
“While the AFL understands there may be great interest in this update, it wishes to reinforce the images have been shared illegally and without consent,” the AFL spokesman said.
“The AFL asks everyone to please respect the rights and privacy of those past and present players who have had personal images illegally shared without their consent or approval.
“AFLIU has contacted the eSafety Commissioner and is working closely with eSafety to have the images removed as soon as possible.”
“The AFL has also made the relevant law enforcement agencies aware of the situation.”
Victoria Police said the force was aware of the images.
“Victoria Police is aware of explicit images being circulated online of athletes,” a statement said.