Eagles accept Gardiner's two-match ban - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles accept Gardiner's two-match ban

By Sam Lienert 18/07/2005 09:05:28 PM Comments (0)

Ladder leader West Coast will not gamble on a visit to the AFL tribunal and has accepted a two-match suspension to ruckman Michael Gardiner.

The AFL match review panel offered Gardiner a two-match ban for striking which the Eagles chose to accept.

Fellow ruckman Dean Cox was charged with striking and also opted to take the early guilty plea escaping suspension.

Cox will now be available to play in Sunday's bumper SCG clash with Sydney, although he is now ineligible for the Brownlow Medal.

Cox, having a career-best season, is high on the list of favourites for the AFL's best and fairest award behind captain Ben Cousins.

But Gardiner's charge, of striking Brisbane's Chris Johnson in the opening quarter of the Eagles' win at Subiaco on Saturday night, was far more vexing for West Coast.

The panel deemed the contact as intentional, of low impact, behind the play and to the body.

Had he decided to contest the charge Gardiner could have copped a three-match ban.

"The West Coast Eagles have decided to accept the AFL Match Review decisions which will see Dean Cox available for this week's game against Sydney while Michael Gardiner will be suspended for the next two matches," the Eagles said in a short statement.

The two-week suspension is a huge blow to Gardiner, as he is desperate for match practice ahead of his side's finals campaign.

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