Martin cleared of serious misconduct

Star Richmond midfielder Dustin Martin will not face an AFL suspension after he was cleared of an allegation to inflict serious injury.

Victoria Police found no criminal misconduct took place during an incident at a Melbourne restaurant last month when an intoxicated Martin was involved in an altercation with a female patron.

But Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale said Martin had been issued with a suspended fine of $5000 for breaching the players’ code of conduct.

“The allegations of threat to harm aired on Channel 7, and subsequently reported widely across the media, have been extremely distressing and damaging for Dustin, and of great concern to the Richmond Football Club,” Gale said in a statement.

“Richmond Football Club finds any threat of violence against women totally unacceptable and condemns such behaviour in the strongest possible terms.

“However, as with every other member of the community, Dustin was entitled to the presumption of innocence until this very serious allegation was fully investigated.”

The AFL Integrity Unit also investigated the matter, with several witnesses confirming that Martin did not physically threaten the complainant, although he was intoxicated and did use obscene language in a public place, thereby breaching the code of conduct.

The AFL determined the matter should by dealt with by Richmond.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan announced that the AFL would review its Respect and Responsibility Policy and its approaches to dealing with allegations of intimidating, threatening or violent behaviour towards women.

These reviews will be overseen by Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commissioner Kate Jenkins.

“We understand our responsibilities to continue to improve our approach to these issues, and I know we still have work to do to hold the respect and trust of the community,” McLachlan said in a statement.

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