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Judiciary clears the way for reported Gary Ablett

GOLD Coast Suns captain Gary Ablett is still eligible for this year's Brownlow Medal after being cleared yesterday of

elbowing Bulldogs tagger Liam Picken in Sunday's game at Metricon Stadium.

Ablett, who won the medal for the league's best-and-fairest player in 2009 and 2013, was closely scrutinised by the match review panel for an incident in the second quarter when he appeared to throw his elbow back at Picken when the pair were lying on the ground after a contest.

After viewing additional footage to what was captured on television, the panel decided the contact was "below that required to constitute a reportable offence".

Had he been charged with making forceful contact, which carries a 125-point penalty, the champion midfielder would have been ineligible to win this year's award. He is the hot favourite to win his third "Charlie", joining Haydn Bunton Snr, Ian Sewart, Bob Skilton and Dick Reynolds as the only three-time winners of the game's highest individual honour.

Picken was also cleared of an incident in the third quarter when he made contact with Ablett's head, while 2008 Brownlow winner Adam Cooney was cleared of making forceful front-on contact on Ablett, despite being reported by one of the field umpires.

Hawthorn skipper Luke Hodge was also cleared of his high hit on Port Adelaide star Chad Wingard.


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