Katie Brennan exits the AFL tribunal after losing her appeal. Picture: Andrew Tauber
Katie Brennan exits the AFL tribunal after losing her appeal. Picture: Andrew Tauber

Dog gone: Brennan appeal dismissed

THE WESTERN Bulldogs are considering whether to go head-to-head with the AFL in the courtroom on the eve of the AFLW grand final after Katie Brennan's appeal against her suspension was dismissed.

The Dogs - led by Jack Rush QC - challenged the two-match ban handed to Brennan on Tuesday night by the AFL Tribunal at a special AFL Appeals Board hearing this afternoon, arguing four grounds of appeal.

All four failed.

Bulldogs president Peter Gordon, who was part of the seven-person legal team representing the club at Etihad Stadium, spoke briefly after the hearing and expressed his disappointment.

"Obviously it's terribly disappointing for Katie and for her teammates and for the whole club really," he said.

"We will consider our position."

Western Bulldogs skipper Katie Brennan will miss the AFLW Grand Final. Picture: Andrew Tauber
Western Bulldogs skipper Katie Brennan will miss the AFLW Grand Final. Picture: Andrew Tauber

When asked whether that meant heading to court - as occurred in 1996 when Andrew Dunkley was granted an injunction in the Supreme Court to delay his tribunal hearing until after the Grand Final - Gordon refused to elaborate.

"'Consider our position' has the ordinary meaning," he said.

The Dogs argued that their appeal had four grounds - that the classification of Brennan's tackle on Demon Harriet Cordner was manifestly excessive, that the sanction was manifestly excessive, that there had been an error of law and that the tribunal did not act reasonably on Tuesday night.

They also argued that Brennan had been discriminated against due to her gender, given that a male AFL player would only be fined for the offence, not suspended.

Passages of the Sex Discrimination Act and Equal Opportunity Act were cited, but all four grounds of appeal were dismissed by the Board.

Brennan's Bulldogs face Brisbane in Saturday's grand final at Ikon Park.

Katie Brennan’s tackle on Harriet Cordner that saw her suspended.
Katie Brennan’s tackle on Harriet Cordner that saw her suspended.

Rush's team argued woman is rubbed out for 1/7th of the season - in her case 1/4 of the season - while a male player is fined less than 5 per cent of the average salary.

They also claimed that the system flies in the face of the AFL's Respect and Responsibility Policy which states that it is committed to ensuring women and men have equal opportunity to participate and advance.

They also said that Brennan would suffer commercial consequences by not playing.

AFL counsel rejected all submissions, and declared that the argument of discrimination was irrelevant given that the same guidelines govern men's competitions - including state leagues - across the country.



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