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AFL governing body are ‘unelected and largely unaccountable’: Mick Warner

An explosive Herald Sun report has hauled the Melbourne Demons tanking saga back into the spotlight after the newspaper obtained more than 80 pages of transcripts which detail interviews conducted with 58 current and former Demons staff during a 2012 investigation into the scandal.

The transcripts reveal that eight senior officials admitted they had been directed not to win more than four games. To achieve this, players were kept on the bench, fake injury reports were submitted, and some players were sent off for surgery.

The reports author, Herald Sun football writer and Macquarie Sports Radio contributor Mick Warner, cites the AFL’s handling of the Melbourne Demons tanking saga as an example of why the establishment of a powerful new national sport anti-corruption body is justified.

“Let’s say that the AFL had to decide that Melbourne did deliberately lose games in 2009, what do you think the consequences of that would be?” Warner said on Levy and Riddell.

“They’d be massive.”

“We’re talking about gambling losses, everyone who ever put a bet on that game says ‘well there you go, I want my money back,’

Questions are now being asked over what actions the AFL are likely to take in light of the transcripts being made public but Warner advises not to hold your breath.

“It’s nothing new in terms of the surprise when these documents emerge,

“Nothing will happen, this will just go under the rug like everything else.

“They get away with this sort of stuff because they’re the world governing body of their sport, they’re unelected and largely unaccountable.”

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AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan has defended the league’s handling of the Melbourne tanking scandal, telling 3AW Mornings host Neil Mitchell there were “unprecedented” penalties handed to those who’d breached any rules.

“You can debate whether they’re appropriate, or not, but people have to make a decision about what can sustained, despite what we might think, things that can be sustained in a tribunal or court.”

Chris Connolly, who was Melbourne footy boss at the time, was suspended for a year, coach Dean Bailey was suspended for 16 weeks and the Demons were fined $500,000.