The AFL Commission has decided not to scratch Jobe Watson from the 2012 All-Australian team, despite being found guilty of breaching the World Anti-Doping Agency’s drugs code.
Watson, along with 33 past and current Essendon players were suspended for the 2016 season due to the Bombers’ 2012 supplements regime. The 31-year-old decided his hand his 2012 Brownlow Medal back to the league last week, with runners-up Trent Cotchin and Sam Mitchell named as the joint winners of the award on Tuesday.
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However, The Age reports that the AFL has decided to allow Watson to keep his All-Australian spot, despite the ban. The decision reportedly came down to the eligibility within the All-Australian team.
Within the rule of the Brownlow Medal, a player can be deemed ineligible to win should be found not be the fairest and best player, for example if a player is suspended, with the AFL Commission ruling Watson to be ineligible to win the award following his suspension.
However, with no such eligibility requirement in the All-Australian side, Watson will keep his spot.
Sam Mitchell, who is now one of the joint winners of the 2012 Brownlow Medal, was named in the initial 40-man squad, however, did not make the final 22-man All-Australian team.