#1 Impact fell at the first hurdle losing h von mary123 05.11.2019 06:55

Trent Cotchin and Sam Mitchell are now the 2012 Brownlow Medallists after the AFL officially stripped Jobe Watson of the award.Cotchin, the Richmond captain, said in a club statement that he accepted the award with mixed emotions, but he also respected the AFL Commissions decision.This has been a difficult time for Jobe, but I have great respect for him, and the decision he made in very tough circumstances, Cotchin said.AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said while it was a tough issue, there was a sense the unprecedented ruling marked a key moment in the long-running Essendon supplements debacle.Watson handed back his medal last Friday because of his doping ban and the AFL Commission ruled on Tuesday that Cotchin and Mitchell should share the games most-prestigious individual award.It is their first Brownlows and they will receive the medals next month at a small ceremony in Melbourne.This is a day that holds no specific joy for anyone, McLachlan said.Clearly, that feels like its the last decision this commission will have to make (on the Essendon scandal) - I dont know if relief is the right word.If theres a silver lining today, thats it.AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick again said the Essendon scandal was a stain on the game and added it was a great pity that Watson should lose the Brownlow.He praised the Essendon star for his decision to give up the medal, saying it was noble.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, Fitzpatrick said.The impact of this decision on him and his family is one of great sadness for the game.The status of Watsons Brownlow was always in doubt once the Court of Arbitration of Sport ruled against him and 33 other Essendon players in January over doping charges.Watson was one of 12 current Essendon players who were banned from playing this season.The AFL held off on its Brownlow ruling while the 34 players made a last-ditch Swiss legal challenge to clear their names.That appeal failed last month, clearing the way for Tuesdays landmark decision.Fitzpatrick said the commissions Brownlow ruling was unaminous.Watson, Essendons captain in 2012, originally won the Brownlow with 30 votes.Cotchin and Mitchell were runners-up on 26.Cotchin becomes Richmonds first Brownlow medallist since Ian Stewart in 1971.Mitchell, who joined West Coast last month in a shock trade, is the first Hawthorn player to win the Brownlow since Shane Crawfords 1999 medal.There was speculation the AFL Commission was split on what to do about the Brownlow.One potential option was that the AFL would not award the medal and instead have an asterisk next to the 2012 season.Fitzpatrick said all options were considered but, in the end, the commission was comfortable that the Brownlow should go to Cotchin and Mitchell.Fitzpatrick added they are deserving medallists.Today is also a day to recognise and celebrate two champions of the game, he said. 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