Former Tyrone minor Conor McKenna faces an Australian Rules ban after he was accused of biting while playing for Essendon Bombers in Sunday’s AFL defeat by the Western Bulldogs.
McKenna, who played in the 2013 All-Ireland Minor final before joining Essendon as a rookie the following year, has been accused of ‘serious misconduct’ and had his case referred to an AFL tribunal.
He is alleged to have bitten Tory Dickson after he was tackled to the ground by the Bulldogs’ forward. Footage from the game is inconclusive, but shows McKenna pressing his face into Dickson’s shoulder as the pair grappled.
Conor McKenna is likely facing at least a three-game suspension if found guilty of biting at the AFL Tribunal.April 9, 2018
According to Herald Sun reporter Jon Ralph, Dickson immediately complained about a potential bite when he came to the interchange bench, pointing to his neck and upper back.
The Herald Sun reported that Essendon’s medical report showed “clear damage” to Dickson Having reviewed several camera angles of the incident, seen the Bulldogs’ medical report, and taken statements from both players, the AFL’s match review officer Michael Christian announced yesterday that McKenna would face a tribunal.
“The reality is, I was able to gather enough evidence to support a charge of serious misconduct,” Christian told reporters.
“At the end of the day, it’s a case and incident that should be heard by the tribunal where both parties will be able to give evidence and call witnesses.
“The jury will be able to make a decision on … if a penalty is warranted.”
West Coast Eagles Chris Masten was banned for two weeks in 2015 after he was found guilty of biting Fremantle’s Nick Suban.
But Masten had argued the bite was involuntary, claiming Suban’s arm was in his mouth and he had closed his mouth by reflex.