Crowley banned for one year

The AFL career of Ryan Crowley is almost certainly over after the Fremantle tagger was suspended for one year for breaching the league’s anti-doping code.

The start of the suspension for testing positive to a banned substance ban was backdated to September 25, 2014, meaning Crowley is ineligible to play at all in 2015.

Crowley, 31, had been provisionally banned for the first 10 weeks of the 2015 season pending the finding by the AFL anti-doping tribunal.

AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said the tribunal had delivered its verdict in a timely manner, after hearing the case last month, and the AFL would not take the matter any further.

The three-person tribunal, comprising of chairman David Jones, former judge John Nixon and Dr Susan White, could have suspended Crowley for as much as two years.

Crowley claimed he ingested the banned substance through a painkiller he had sourced from outside the club.

The suspension almost certainly brings an end to Crowley’s controversial 188-match career.

He won the Dockers’ best and fairest award in 2012 but was better known throughout his decade-long AFL career for a no-holds-barred approach to tagging the opposition’s best midfielder.

In Crowley’s absence, the Dockers have made a flying start to the 2015 season.

Despite dropping their first match of the year to Richmond in round 10, they sit two games clear atop the AFL ladder.

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