Port Adelaide admit they erred by not following AFL protocols when assessing Hamish Hartlett after he copped a head knock during last Thursday night’s game against Hawthorn.
The Power have been fined $20,000 by the AFL, with $10,000 of the sanction suspended until the end of the 2018 season.
Hartlett passed a concussion test after leaving the ground against the Hawks but Port failed to notify an AFL interchange official that the assessment was taking place, as required by AFL laws.
He returned to action about five minutes after coming off the ground, when he should have been kept from playing for the regulated 15-minute exclusion period.
Port’s general manager of football, Chris Davies, said the club accepted its mistake.
“If we had followed that protocol, Hartlett would have been excluded from play for longer so vision of the incident could be reviewed,” Davies said in a statement on Friday.
“Despite this issue of timing, Hamish was cleared of concussion at the time and has shown no sign of concussion during subsequent testing throughout this week.”
Hartlett will play against North Melbourne on Saturday.
The AFL said it considered a written explanation from the club, spoke to club staff and examined match day vision from the bench area.
AFL general manager football operations Mark Evans said the league took into account that the incident occurred while Port’s chief medical officer was managing a significant injury to Brad Ebert in the changerooms.
Ebert suffered bruised lungs and won’t play on Saturday.
The AFL said there were also a number of elements that hindered video review of the incident involving Hartlett, adding Port had offered to address procedural and technical matters relating to assessment of head injuries, including further education of match day staff.