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Feds Want Players Named

by Lisa, reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The Australian Federal Government has urged the AFL to review its current anti-drug policy, abandon the secret testings, and reveal the names of players caught.  Federal Minister Rod Kemp, who was one of the forces behind the push to adopt WADA' policy, said the AFL's current system of sanctions and reporting were "out of touch with community expectations". He said the government had "zero tolerance of doping in sport".  Relations between the AFL and the Federal Government became fractured when the league initially balked at signing WADA's code, but was eventually forced to do so under threat of losing government funding on multiple projects.

Kemp went on to say he believed clubs would want to know the names of players who tested positive,

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Swans Win Finals Epic

By Tim Stone reporting for the AFANA from Subiaco Oval, Perth.

 

The Swans have taken a decisive next step in their bid to claim their second consecutive Premiership. A one point thriller has seen Sydney beat West Coast in what has been hailed as one of the greatest Finals in recent years. Syndey earned themselves a home Preliminary Final and are now just one win away from another crack at the coveted trophy.

 

An enthralling battle took place between two quality teams that left nothing on the field, the lead changing 7 times from the last 7 goals before O’Loughlin was able to put the winning goal on the board in the dying minute of the game. In an era which is producing one of the most memorable rivalries for the ages, this match was a showcase for why the Swans and West Coast have joined the likes of the Brisbane Lions as the dominant teams of the 2000's. 

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Demons Rise To Topple Saints

By Barry Kennedy AFANA Reporter in Melbourne


A rare all-Victoria contest -- albeit an Elimination Final -- kick-started the 2006 AFL Finals Series at the MCG last night. Melbourne has had much pain inflicted on it at this time of the season ever since it was overrun by Essendon in the 2000 Grand Final. In the last two seasons, Melbourne had bowed out of the flag race after failing at this hurdle.  St Kilda’s long suffering supporters have seen their side progress further into September over the last two years, but have themselves been at the wrong end of two painful Preliminary Final losses, despite their star-studded line-up. So with the specter of a quick exit from the finals race looming for the loser, there were plenty of reasons for these two aspiring sides to hit the ground running. 

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Ben Graham Named Jets Co-captain

Rapid Rise for Former Cat 
 by Johnson Leung, reporting for AFANA in Melbourne

Former Geelong captain turned NFL punter Ben Graham has been named one of the six co-captains of the New York Jets.   In a vote completed by teammates, Graham was named captain of the Jets' special team alongside linebacker Matt Chatman. The other co-captains are left guard Pete Kendall and quarterback Chad Pennington on offense, and linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Shaun Ellis on defense.

According to the Newark Star-Ledger, Graham is one of the few players to ever be a captain on a professional team in two different sports. Also, it's rare in the NFL that a punter is voted a captain.  Eric Mangini, in his first year as Jets head coach, says he is looking into whether that makes him the first Australian to hold such a position. 

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AFL Weekly Review Round 22 2006

by Tim Murphy

At Docklands:

Footscray  8.2   13.5   18.9    22.15.147
Essendon   2.3   10.9   14.14   18.17.125   

The Bulldogs went into their first finals series in six years with a high-scoring win over Essadun. Not fully convincing but at least no one got injured. Thus ended Essadun’s worst season since 1931 and Sheedy’s worst in his 26 years in charge. The Dons were full of their usual confidence after downing premiers Sydney in round one but Lloydy, who booted 9 in that game, ripped his hamstring to shreds two weeks later and losses began to pile up.

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AFL Defends Finals System

by Johnson Leung, reporting for AFANA from Melbourne

Top 4 Clubs Deserve Home Finals: Demetriou

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said on Monday that he had no problem with the fact that there are no finals being played in Melbourne this month -- two of the four finals were played at the MCG, but the venue will not host another match until the grand final on September 30 after interstate clubs filled the Top Four places on the ladder.   Demetriou said the clubs who finished in the top four - West Coast, Adelaide, Fremantle and Sydney - deserved the right to host finals.   "I just think we do a great disservice to the clubs that play all year, for 22 weeks, that get the right to host a home Final, that we bemoan the fact that the MCG will be vacant in weeks two and three," he was quoted as saying.

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Steve Irwin Dies In Tragic Accident

Entertainer Steve Irwin, 44, known to many as the "Crocodile Hunter", was tragically killed in an accident off the coast of Cairns, Queensland on Monday September 4.  He was filming segments for a new documentary and his daughter's TV show.   Sources in Australia including the Australian Associated Press and news.com.au have reported that Irwin's chest was pierced by a stingray barb.  His crew immediately attempted to rescusciate him and called for assistance. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.

The story appeared online and in news reports before the family could be notified.  His American born wife, Terri, and two young children were hiking in Tasmania at the time and are now believed to be in transit to Cairns. 

American TV star and Director Emeritus of the Columbus (OH) Zoo, Jack Hanna,

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Sydney Clinch Top Four Berth

By Frank Ienco, reporting for AFANA from Sydney

Sydney will enter next weekend’s finals series exactly as they did last year- with a crucial double chance and a guaranteed home final after their seamless 92-point thrashing of Carlton at the SCG on Sunday. The 21.10 (136) to 6.8 (44) defeat also consigned the hapless Blues to their second consecutive wooden spoon and third in five years.

 

While Carlton could have been forgiven for having one eye on Mad Monday celebrations, and at times they looked it, the Swans had everything to play for. Despite the opposition, they played an exciting and attacking brand of football that they have only shown glimpses of before in a rare 20-plus goal display. The omens for the next four weeks look good for Sydney, least of which is a repeat of last year’s qualifying final next week against West Coast at Subiaco.

 

As did last week against Brisbane, the Swans were simply expected to win and win well.

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Player Privacy Protected

by Lisa reporting for AFANA from Chicago 

AFL Wins Media Suit

The league has won its court case and can now permanently prohibit the media from publishing the names of the players it obtained who allegedly returned two positive drug tests.  However, the court ruling came too late to stop the names being bandied about in the media and through the football industry, but operations manager Adrian Anderson said that their careers have been damaged. According to Anderson, the AFL clubs still do not know the identity of those players and that everyone was assuming that the names leaked to the media were the correct ones.

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Freo Earn Double Chance In September

By Tim Stone reporting for the AFANA @ Subiaco.

 

Fremantle has silenced its critics in 2006 by finishing third on the ladder, breezing past Port Adelaide by 79 points in their final match of the 2006 home and away season.

 

Fremantle has now earned a double change by claiming a spot in the Top Four, and will fly to AAMI stadium next week to do battle with the Adelaide Crows for a place in the Preliminary Final. A club that counted just 6 wins after 13 games has now won its last 9 games on the trot to be the form team going into the Finals. They will now appear in the Finals for only second time in their 12 year history as an AFL club.

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