After four years, suspensions for all players involved, and the first wooden spoon for the club since 1993, the Essendon doping scandal still refuses to die.
Today, we learned that Trent Cotchin and Sam Mitchell will be awarded Jobe Watson’s 2012 Brownlow medal, following Watson’s announcement that he would give the award back after it became clear he would be forced to return it at any rate.
Watson announced his intention to return the medal last week after a Swiss court chose not to hear a group of 34 Essendon players’ appeal against their doping bans. The AFL today deemed Watson ineligible for the Brownlow in order to maintain its status, and while he’s received a lot of kudos for returning the award voluntarily it was likely the commission was, for the first time, going to ask for the award back anyway.
“The commission believes Jobe’s decision was a noble one, in respecting the values of the competition and putting the interests of the game before his own, Jobe has shown his commitment to fair play, the qualities of a champion,” AFL chairman Mick Fitzpatrick said.
Cotchin and Mitchell, who played for Richmond and Hawthorn at the time, originally tied second for the Brownlow, but will receive the award itself next week at a Melbourne function.
But Mitchell, who will begin playing for West Coast Eagles next year, refused to be drawn on whether he would accept the award following Watson’s decision.
“I’m here to announce being at West Coast Eagles,” he told reporters last week. “I’m not going to talk about the Brownlow.”
Image: AAP / Julian Smith.