Lovett saga takes new twist - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lovett saga takes new twist

By Roger Vaughan 03/02/2010 05:10:38 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda's controversial decision to recruit Andrew Lovett has become a legal minefield for the AFL club.

Lovett is under police investigation for an alleged sexual assault and the Saints have suspended him indefinitely as a result.

Now Lovett has lodged an official grievance with the club over his suspension, with AFL Players' Association chief executive Matt Finnis claiming that the St Kilda ban appeared to be "manifestly excessive".

Saints coach Ross Lyon said on Wednesday that he really could not comment about the whole situation.

"There's obviously been a grievance tribunal (sic), which is under the CBA, St Kilda is a willing participant in that and we will comply with all requirements," Lyon said.

"Certainly there are some really important legal issues that pertain to the whole situation and I really can't comment any further.

"We're acutely aware and painfully aware that there is an alleged female victim in this and clearly there's a professional player who's under investigation for a serious sexual assault.

"For me to go anywhere near this, I could prejudice or really not show the correct sensitivity to either person - I'm really hoping to leave that alone."

The Saints traded their first-round draft pick to Essendon in October in return for Lovett.

Soon after joining the club, he was arrested for public drunkenness, although that charge was later dropped.

The club banned him on Christmas Eve, within hours of becoming aware of the woman's allegation.

The Saints have confirmed they had a grievance meeting on Tuesday afternoon about Lovett's club suspension.

"This meeting was pursuant to provisions within the AFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, which provides for a grievance procedure," the club said in a statement.

"St Kilda confirms that it is, and will be, complying with its obligations under the CBA."

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