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Australian Rules: Melbourne fined but cleared of throwing matches

Published on Feb 19, 2013 4:00 PM

MELBOURNE (REUTERS) - Melbourne FC were fined A$500,000 (S$638,800) and two coaches banned on Tuesday despite the Australian Rules club being cleared of deliberately throwing matches in 2009 to get additional picks in the players' draft.

The Australian Football League (AFL) said an eight month investigation had concluded the "Melbourne FC, its coach and team did not set out to deliberately lose in any matches during the 2009 premiership season".

Nevertheless, the club's then general manager Chris Connolly and senior coach Dean Bailey were banned for a year and the first 16 rounds of the next season respectively for acting "in a manner which was prejudicial to the interests of the AFL".

The club, which won just four of 22 games in the 2009 season, was handed the fine on the grounds that it had "ultimate responsibility" for the conduct of its key employees.

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