Justin Charles (born 28 September 1970) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for Footscray and Richmond in the VFL/AFL.
|Date of birth||28 September 1970|
|Place of birth||Richmond|
|Original team(s)||North Footscray Juniors|
|Height||198 cm (6 ft 6 in)|
|Weight||97 kg (214 lb)|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1998.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Charles was recruited to the Footscray Football Club after winning an under-19s best and fairest with them, and his father John R. Charles, as well as his uncle Norm Charles had played for the club in the past. He made his debut in 1989, however in the five seasons he spent at the club until 1993, he never could consolidate a position with spots for big players of his type competitive. Terry Wheeler, then coach of the Bulldogs, was willing to put him up for trade, however Charles quit the club and took a year off from football. He had played only 36 games for 24 goals with the club.
Charles took a year off football in 1994, in frustration, when he turned his hand to baseball, playing in the minor league with the Florida Marlins.
The former plumber was surprisingly picked up in the 1994 AFL Draft by Richmond and immediately impressed the club with his work ethic. He became a prominent ruckman and in 1996's Brownlow Medal he polled 17 votes, with Michael Voss and James Hird, the winners, polling only four more.
Late in the 1997 AFL season, Charles became the first player to test positive to an anabolic steroid, boldenone. The AFL tribunal suspended him for 16 matches, as there was not an anti-drug policy in place at the time. Charles made a return to AFL football late in 1998 but injury led to his retirement shortly after, finishing with 54 games and 38 goals for the Tigers.
- Fleming, Damien; Mallon, Bill; Charles, Justin; Elliot, Bruce (3 December 2004). "Doping and Chucking". The Sports Factor (Interview). Interviewed by Amanda Smith. ABC Radio National. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011.
- Hogan P: The Tigers Of Old, Richmond FC, Melbourne 1996
- Feature story on Justin Charles and his first game back after his drug-related suspension – from the Yellow and Black Supporters Forum and Website
- Justin Charles's playing statistics from AFL Tables
- Justin Charles at AustralianFootball.com