Jobe Watson’s former manager expects the AFL star to lose his Brownlow Medal after the players lost an appeal against their doping ban in Swiss court.
The 34 past and present Bombers involved in the club’s supplements saga on Tuesday night lost their appeal against a year-long ban to the Swiss Federal Tribunal.
The AFL is yet to decide whether the AFL star and former skipper, Watson, will keep his 2012 Brownlow Medal.
Watson’s former manager, veteran player agent Peter Jess, said the Essendon skipper deserved the award, but the rules of the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) were clear.
“WADA is pretty specific in terms of the penalties and if you have won an award in the period when you have been convicted of doping then those awards are stripped out,” he told AM.
“He will lose his Brownlow and possibly his best and fairest during that period.”
AFL has clear path to make decision
The AFL commission can now go ahead with its hearing that will decide what happens with the medal.
Hawthorn’s Sam Mitchell and Richmond’s Trent Cotchin finished equal second in the Brownlow voting in 2012.
The AFL announced the hearing after the Court of Arbitration for Sport banned the players for 12 months in February, but postponed it until the Swiss appeal verdict.
Jess said all the players, including Watson, thought they were taking part in a “perfectly legal supplements program” and the league should shoulder some responsibility.
“[Watson] was fundamentally misled and I think part of the blame lies at the AFL,” he said.
“And I find it incredibly difficult that they could now turn around and be judge and jury.”
Last month, Watson confirmed his return to the game and said he would not fret over the award either way.
“It doesn’t define me,” he said at the press conference.
“The thing about why I felt I needed to leave [Australia] was that I wasn’t happy.
“Life is too short not to be happy. Your time in the game isn’t infinite … so I really feel whatever happens is out of my control.
“I’ll deal with it accordingly.”
Watson has been invited to speak to the commission at the hearing, the date of which could be announced by the league this afternoon.
In May, AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan admitted there was a collective feeling of dread about having to make the call on Watson’s Brownlow.