Star’s ‘inappropriate contact with female’
THE AFL has slapped Port Adelaide star Sam Powell-Pepper with a three-match ban following an investigation into an incident at a nightclub in the South Australian capital.
Powell-Pepper has already missed two games since the controversy, so will miss one more match before he is made available for senior selection again.
"The AFL has determined ... Powell-Pepper engaged in inappropriate behaviour that is unbecoming for an AFL player by being intoxicated in a public place and by making inappropriate contact with a female," a statement released by the AFL said.
"Given media commentary and other reporting in this matter, the AFL also note that it has made no other findings in this matter.
"The AFL has further determined that, taking into account Powell-Pepper has missed the last two Port Adelaide AFL matches in Rounds 4 and 5 while the investigation was ongoing, Powell-Pepper will be suspended for a further one week from the AFL competition."
Earlier this week Port Adelaide chairman David Koch publicly vented his frustrations with the AFL as Powell-Pepper's playing future remained in limbo.
The 20-year-old served a one-match club-imposed suspension in round four and missed last week's loss to Geelong after he ruled himself out as the AFL investigation continued.
Koch revealed on Monday that the integrity unit's investigation was actually completed last week.
Club officials had seen a summary but, at the time Koch spoke, had not been allowed to view a copy of the completed report.
"We have been asking to see that report and it still hasn't come a week later," Koch said on Adelaide radio station FiveAA on Monday.
"Our view is the report does not reflect properly what actually went on at the nightclub. We have video of the entire night at the club and our view of that video doesn't match the findings of the integrity unit's report.
"We are backing our player. We think the allegations, particularly some of the media allegations against Sam - on our evidence - are completely misleading.
"That's why we want to see the report, to see what other evidence that report contains, if any."
Port didn't debate Powell-Pepper broke team rules by being drunk in a public place and out past curfew, but Koch was standing firm in the face of any further sanctions given the lack of evidence and was bewildered by the AFL's decision not to make the report available.
"We are stumped by that. We are frustrated by that ... so frustrated because it is putting enormous pressure on this young man," he said.
"If there's evidence of any serious sexual abuse then we would throw the book at any player.
"(But) our vision of what happened on the night bears no resemblance to any of that.
"They're alleging inappropriate behaviour. We don't even think it goes that far."
- with AAP