Damien Hardwick has addressed the latest fiasco surrounding Dustin Martin, with the Richmond coach admitting that this scandal has served as a ‘bit of a distraction’ for his side.
Footage of the 31-year-old groping a topless woman’s breast emerged on the eve of the Tigers’ huge elimination final against Brisbane. The incident is believed to have occurred in 2015.
The AFL said on Thursday that they are ‘seeking further information’ surrounding the new footage, in what has been described as a ‘nightmare’ for the competition.
Damien Hardwick has addressed the Dustin Martin scandal for the first time on Thursday
And Tigers coach Hardwick has spoken for the first time since the video surfaced, insisting that his side will ‘move on’ from the scandal.
‘These thing happen from time to time in footy clubs,’ he said on Fox Footy.
‘We’ve dealt with a few issues (before) and we’ll deal with more issues again in the future, but the reality is the guys will move on with it.
‘It has been a little bit of a distraction but the fact of the matter is, the guys are here to get a job done and so are we.’
Footy legend Garry Lyon described the fiasco as the AFL’s ‘worst nightmare’.
Footage, which was leaked on the eve of the AFL finals, shows the Richmond star handing the woman a drink before reaching around to fondle her chest from behind
Hardwick admitted the latest controversy was ‘a little bit of a distraction’ for his Tigers side
‘That would be, for all sorts of the reasons, the AFL’s worst nightmare on the launch of this finals series,’ Lyon said on SEN.
‘From a behaviour point of view, to the focus that they want, to the circus this will be unfolding now in Brisbane with Dusty returning to footy having been out for a long, long time. Now, like it or not, this is going to be the focus.
‘Timing-wise, not that that matters, it’s a disaster for the AFL.’
Martin has kicked two goals with Richmond aiming to advance in this year’s finals series
Lyon compared the Martin footage with the Jordan de Goey scandal earlier this season, in which the Collingwood star attempted to expose a woman’s breast while away in Bali.
‘I don’t know what to say to this other than you are responsible for your own actions,’ Lyon added.
‘That was the thing from Jordan’s perspective, unsolicited touching, whether you knew them or not, is not acceptable. That is why it will be an issue and that is why it will be a story that continues to rage throughout the day.’
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