Jobe Watson of the Bombers sprints during an Essendon Bombers AFL pre-season training session at True Value Solar Centre on January 8, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Watson allowed to keep 2012 All-Australian spot

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.

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.