Geelong have suspended Steven Motlop after Hawthorn opponents had sledged him during their round-one AFL match for drinking three days earlier.
The Cats dropped a bombshell on Thursday afternoon, announcing their speedy midfielder would miss Sunday’s big home game against Fremantle.
At the time, coach Chris Scott did not specify the off-field indiscretion.
But it later emerged Motlop was in the Victorian country town of Colac on Good Friday, watching local football.
He was spotted drinking at the game and the news found its way to the Hawks in time for the round-one blockbuster on Easter Monday at the MCG.
Geelong teammates overheard Hawthorn players taunting Motlop and duly raised the issue post-match.
They were disappointed Motlop would drink alcohol in public only three days before such a major game.
Motlop was probably Geelong’s best player on Easter Monday as the reigning premiers belted them by 62 points.
Geelong can ill afford to be without Motlop, but Scott was adamant that there was no alternative.
“We have clear expectations of our players and there’s no grey area here,” Scott said.
“Steve hasn’t been able to meet those on this occasion.
“So the team and Steve will pay a big penalty this week.
“Having said that, we’re happy with the way that Steve has responded in the aftermath.
“To his credit, he acknowledges it, he admits it and he’s prepared to take his right whack.”
Motlop won’t play at VFL level either, but will be available for selection in round three.
The Cats are also sweating on the availability of veteran Jimmy Bartel after he suffered a concussion in the dying seconds against the Hawks.
“The early indications are that he’s going to be fine, but it’s in the hands of our medical staff – they will have the first and final call on it,” Scott said.
“With the Sunday game, we’re not absolutely in a position to guarantee that he’s going to play, but he’s a good chance.”
Bartel was named in their squad for the Dockers match and, so far, Motlop is the only omission.