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Hawks racism probe ends with ‘no adverse findings’ against coaches


The AFL has announced no adverse findings against Alastair Clarkson, Chris Fagan or Jason Burt over the Hawthorn racism allegations.

But the matter is far from over, with ongoing legal action looking inevitable.

On Tuesday night, AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan called a snap media conference to announce the independent inquiry investigations into the bombshell claims would end.

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The inquiry has reached an impasse given it could not find common ground between the parties involved.

Clarkson, Fagan and Burt all vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan called a snap press conference Tuesday evening. Credit: AAP

“No adverse findings have been made in the Independent Investigation against any of the individuals against whom allegations have been made,” the AFL said in a lengthy statement.

“The complainants wish to resolve all differences with the AFL.

“As a result of this agreement, the complainants do not wish to pursue the Independent panel Investigation (which they wholeheartedly supported), or make any claims against the AFL in any other process or court in relation to their allegations.

“The complainants agree that their allegations should not be further investigated by the independent panel.

“The AFL has now terminated the independent panel Investigation with the consent of the complainants with no charges to be brought against any person subject to the AFL rules as a result of the Independent Investigation.”

No adverse findings were uncovered against Hawthorn coaches Alastair Clarkson and Chris Fagan (pictured), or Jason Burt. Credit: Getty

But significantly, the AFL itself noted separate legal action could still happen.

“The AFL is only able to impose sanctions for breaches of AFL rules on persons subject to the AFL rules and respects the right of the various parties to the investigation (and those who decided not to participate) to pursue claims in other legal forums,” the league said.

“Today’s outcomes do not interfere with those rights.”

The AFL also did not rule out taking its own action against Hawthorn.

“This agreement does not preclude the AFL from bringing a charge under AFL rules against Hawthorn with respect to the commissioning and oversight of the Binmada Report,” it said.

On Saturday, Burt was the first of the trio to break his silence, giving an extensive media interview about the allegations.

He strongly denied the most serious of the accusations that an Indigenous player had been told to encourage his partner to have an abortion.

The Hawks saga started last year after former Indigenous star Cyril Rioli and his wife Shannyn Ah Sam-Rioli publicly claimed they were treated poorly during their time at the club.

That prompted a Hawthorn review of current and former Indigenous players, which led to the bombshell racism claims being leaked to the media last September.

The AFL set up the four-person inquiry eight months ago.

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Source: 7News