Saints suspend Andrew Lovett - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints suspend Andrew Lovett

24/12/2009 07:26:14 PM Comments (0)

New St Kilda player Andrew Lovett is under police investigation for an alleged sexual assault and his AFL career is in tatters.

Lovett's latest off-field controversy capped a pre-Christmas week where the image of the game took a hammering.

The league have backed St Kilda's decision to suspend Lovett indefinitely but have issued a "please explain" to Carlton in the aftermath of their players' booze-fuelled Christmas breakup last weekend.

There was a report on Thursday that new Carlton player Levi Casboult was bound to a team-mate during Saturday's river cruise as part of a drinking game.

But Carlton's woes were overshadowed on Thursday afternoon with the news that Lovett was under police investigation for an alleged early-morning incident in Port Melbourne.

"St Kilda Football Club can confirm that Victoria Police are investigating allegations made by a woman against Saints player Andrew Lovett, which is reported to have occurred in Melbourne in the early hours of this morning," the club said in a statement.

"The club is currently gaining a better understanding of these allegations and as a club, St Kilda is treating the matter very seriously.

"At this time, the club has suspended Andrew Lovett indefinitely.

"Andrew will not be involved with the club in any shape or form until a further decision is made."

Only days after his trade from Essendon, Lovett was arrested in early November for public drunkenness.

The Bombers also had to suspend him during his time at that club for poor off-field discipline.

St Kilda gave up their first-round draft pick at No.16 for the pacy midfielder and the trade appears to have backfired spectacularly for the grand finalists.

Club chief executive Michael Nettlefold would not speculate on Lovett's AFL future.

Asked if Lovett would pull on a Saints jumper, he replied: "I would prefer not to answer that question - it's not appropriate for me to answer that question."

The Saints were careful with their comments, given the allegations are under police investigation, but privately they are furious with Lovett.

"These incidents are always difficult for everyone who's involved," Nettlefold said.

"These matters are complicated and difficult and I think everybody acknowledges that."

Nettlefold was asked if a team-mate was with Lovett last night, but he only said there is no suggestion of improper conduct by other Saints players.

Also on Thursday, the league accused Carlton of failing to keep them properly informed about several off-field incidents.

The club have fined players Andrew Walker and Ryan Houlihan after they had a confrontation with staff at the Crown complex on Sunday morning after the Christmas break-up.

Team-mate Eddie Betts was arrested on Sunday morning for drunkenness and also faces club sanction.

Now it is alleged Casboult was barely conscious when his family picked him up after the Saturday cruise.

"The AFL today asked Carlton for an explanation over the behaviour of Carlton players during and following a pre-Christmas boat cruise and its failure to keep the AFL properly informed of a number of recent incidents," the league said in a statement.

"The AFL has asked the club to provide the AFL with a summary of what Carlton was doing to deal with the situation."

The statement also quoted league operations manager Adrian Anderson as saying: "the AFL is particularly concerned by the most recent claims of a young player being forced to drink excessive amounts of alcohol by senior players."

The AFL say their integrity officer Brett Clothier has asked Carlton for a response by January 11.

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