Tippett banned, Crows lose draft picks

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Kurt Tippett has been hit with an 11-match suspension, and Adelaide will lose their first two draft picks for 2013 for involvement in AFL draft tampering and salary cap breaches.

Tippett was also hit with a $50,000 fine and the Crows fined $300,000, while three club officials involved in the breaches were suspended for between two and six months.

Crows chief executive Steven Trigg was also hit with a $50,000 fine to go with his six-month ban from all elements of involvement with AFL.

Former football manager John Reid was also given a six-month ban, and current Crows football manager Phil Harper two months.

Tippett’s ban was originally for 22 home-and-away matches – the entire season – but 11 matches of the ban were suspended.

AFL Commission chairman Mike Fitzpatrick announced the penalties after a marathon nine-hour hearing on Friday into the draft tampering and salary cap breaches.

He said Adelaide’s full co-operation with the inquiry had been noted, with AFL officials hinting it had an influence on the eventual penalty.

The Crows had decided to effectively penalise themselves at last week’s 2012 draft, handing back their first two picks.

But Fitzpatrick said the sanctions would send a message, and AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou described the penalties as “significant”.

“The AFL Commission regards this case as a very disappointing one for the entire football community,” Fitzpatrick said.

“I want to send a message to all 18 clubs and all supporters around the country … any club engaging in conduct prejudicial to the draft for a scheme involving payments to players in contravention of our rules will be penalised.”

The charges stemmed from the three-year contract Tippett signed with Adelaide in 2009, which made him the Crows’ highest-paid player.

Adelaide had entered into a side agreement to trade Tippett to the club of his choice for a second-round draft pick when the contract finished at the end of the 2012 season.

Charges over payments of $200,000 to Tippett outside the salary cap were also investigated.

The breaches only came to light as Tippett tried to depart the Crows for his preferred destination for 2013, Sydney.

In a statement, the Crows admitted it was wrong to enter into the side agreement with Tippett.

“The board and management of the Adelaide Football Club apologise to everyone associated with the club – staff, players, members, sponsors and supporters.

“The club accepts the sanctions from the AFL Commission and accepts that the AFL does not tolerate any breach, intended or unintended.”

Sydney released a statement reaffirming their desire to select Tippett in the upcoming pre-season draft.

“Although today’s decision is obviously a disappointing setback for Kurt, we have always seen Kurt as a long-term player,” Swans general manager of football Dean Moore said.

“We will go to the pre-season draft with the intention of selecting him if he’s available at our pick.”

© AAP 2014
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