Appeals board wipes Sam Wortmann's rough-conduct ban

Sam Wortmann's rough-conduct ban has been wiped by the appeals board. PICTURE: NIC GIBSON

Sam Wortmann's rough-conduct ban has been wiped by the appeals board. PICTURE: NIC GIBSON

WODONGA’S Sam Wortmann is free to play against Wangaratta tomorrow after his controversial six-match ban for rough conduct was thrown out in Melbourne last night.

The Bulldogs are likely to ask the league for answers after AFL Victoria’s appeals board erased Wortmann’s charge in stunning fashion.

They dismissed the O and M tribunal’s original finding, saying there was nothing Wortmann could have done to avoid contact with North Albury midfielder David Miles on April 19.

Wortmann, who was represented by high-profile player advocate Iain Findlay, remained adamant his sole intention was the ball when he took Miles high at John Flower Oval. The hearing lasted for more than an hour.

Wodonga coach Ben Hollands gave evidence by phone.

Bulldogs president Richard Bence said while the club was rapt to have Wortmann free to play tomorrow, it had plenty of questions it wanted answered.

“His name has been cleared but he missed a week,” Bence said.

“Can he get that back?

“Obviously he can’t.

“We accept that’s the process but it’s been a tough time for everyone.

“We’re obviously very relieved because we’ve invested a lot of time and energy into it and haven’t had much luck with these things before.”

Wortmann was set to sit out the Bulldogs’ next three games after missing their Anzac Day clash with Wod-onga Raiders.

The two-match suspended sentence also handed down by the league’s tribunal has also been revoked.

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