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AFL investigates leakage of Hawthorn Review

AFL investigates leakage of Hawthorn Review & How It Was Let Out

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan wants to know the League’s concern about the leak of The Hawthorn Hawks report on the welfare and treatment of its First Nations Players.

Gillon McLachlan, CEO of the AFL, says that “questions” are being asked about who leaked Hawthorn’s First Nations Welfare Review.

Last month, the independent panel that was set up to investigate allegations of racism against the Hawks from 2008-2016, disbanded. No adverse findings were made under AFL regulations regarding former coach Alastair Clarkson, former football manager Chris Fagan, or welfare manager Jason Burt.

Clarkson, Fagan, and Burt all have vehemently denied any wrongdoing relating to the allegations.

Cyril Rioli, a four-time Hawthorn premiership player, has revealed that he is one of six complainants. They have pledged to take their cases to the Human Rights Commission.

The dismay of outgoing AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan at how the allegations were first reported by ABC in September last year was evident when he announced the conclusion of the official AFL investigation.

McLachlan read a statement from the AFL that said, “The parties admit that the way their allegations were leaked into the media wasn’t in anyone’s best interest.”

McLachlan stated on Friday that he is determined to find the source of the leak.

McLachlan said on 3AW radio: “I would really like to find out because it has caused me a great deal of angst, and pain.”

“Yes, we are asking some questions.”

“It’s improbable that the AFL could leak such information.

“I believe the way the leak happened put everyone in an even more vulnerable position, including the complainants, defendants, clubs, and the League.”

Hawthorn’s management was shocked by the Binmada Report, conducted by Phil Egan (a former VFL player), which examined the welfare of First Nations athletes. They informed the AFL of these claims.

The ABC released a report days before the Grand Final of last year, which was published just prior to Hawthorn’s response to these harrowing accusations.

McLachlan stated that the initial leakage of the contents of the report had made it hard for any investigation to succeed.

He said that once the report and those accused were leaked, it would be difficult to find the truth.

“I believe that the defendants have not broken the AFL rules. The complainants have signed the agreement and are satisfied with the process. They can also pursue their rights elsewhere if they wish.


The report we received was the conclusion of an independent investigation. People can take it wherever they like.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan

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