Masten sent to tribunal over biting claim

West Coast onballer Chris Masten has been referred directly to the AFL tribunal after he was accused of biting.

Fremantle’s Nick Suban made the allegation after the pair were involved in a wrestle during the third quarter of Sunday’s spiteful western derby.

A distressed Suban could be clearly heard via umpire microphones complaining to field umpire Jeff Dalgleish about Masten.

“He bit me, he f***ing bit me,” says Suban as he shows his arm to Dalgleish.

Masten was not reported by match-day umpires, but an AFL spokesman confirmed on Monday that the allegation had been noted by umpires.

The AFL match review panel carried out an investigation and charged Masten with misconduct for biting, as well as sending the matter directly to the tribunal.

Earlier, Eagles teammate Jack Darling vouched for Masten’s character.

Darling said he would never bite anyone on the field, claiming it would be “pretty gross” and “sweaty”.

But he was quick to praise Masten’s leadership qualities when asked about the alleged biting incident.

“As a character, he’s great,” Darling said.

“He’s really stepped up the last couple of years.

“He’s great to have around the club. Just a funny man. He’s a real team player.”

Masten was caught up in controversy early in his career when he was involved in an Australia Day fight in 2008.

But he has worked hard to rebuild his reputation since that point, and was rewarded earlier this year when he was named stand-in skipper for a pre-season game.

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