ANDREW Demetriou maintains tanking does not exist, but, if an investigation into Melbourne proves otherwise, any punishment will be handled by the AFL Commission.
Nanjing Night Net

AFL integrity officer Brett Clothier is continuing his investigation into claims made by former Demons midfielder Brock McLean that Melbourne did not want to win matches in 2009 and he has interviewed several officials, coaches and players associated with the club at the time, including former senior coach Dean Bailey.

Demetriou, the AFL chief executive, said tanking, if proven, was one of the worst acts a club or player could commit.

”Anything that affects the integrity of the competition, we put in that basket things like the salary cap, we put in that basket performance-enhancing drugs, we put in that basket things that relate to betting scandals, information sharing and, of course, tanking if that exists,” he said yesterday.

The Demons won four matches and finished last in 2009 to qualify for the top two picks in the national draft, including a priority pick. They used these picks on Tom Scully and Jack Trengove.

The AFL maintains there is no time frame for Clothier to file his report, although it is felt the league would want it completed before the finals, particularly if there are damaging findings.

Clothier will present his report to AFL operations manager Adrian Anderson, who will then decide whether there is enough evidence to warrant the commission handing down a sanction.

”It’s an ongoing investigation, I understand Brett has conducted several interviews and has got more to complete, and we’ll await the outcome of that report,” Demetriou said.

Geelong football manager Neil Balme yesterday questioned the validity of the investigation, claiming it was ”a political investigation to look like they’re doing an investigation”.

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