AFL Media has stood down a journalist after he tweeted Brooke Cotchin’s Instagram post that resulted in Richmond receiving a $45,000 fine.
Foxfooty.com.au has confirmed Mitch Cleary was stood down indefinitely after he shared the public post made by Cotchin about her visit to a Gold Coast spa, which breached the league’s quarantine hub rules.
Cotchin had been named on radio by Nine journalist Caroline Wilson during the week before Cleary shared the image. He later deleted his tweet.
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Print and digital outlets including Foxfooty.com.au also named Cotchin, given the public interest in the story, despite the Tigers asking for it to be taken down.
It’s understood the decision was made because the AFL believes Cleary’s obligations are as an AFL employee before his obligations as a journalist.
AFL Media has in the past declared it is independent from the league.
Brooke Cotchin, who travelled to Queensland with the couple’s three children to support her husband, was busted by the AFL breaching the league’s strict biosecurity protocols after posting an image of her visit to a day spa on the Gold Coast.
The visit was in breach of the isolation hub that players and clubs have agreed to as part of the agreement with the Queensland Government that has seen Victorian clubs relocate to Queensland.
It was one of several breaches over the weekend with four revealed on Friday with $185,000 fines being handed out to the Tigers, Kangaroos, Blues and Hawks.
It was revealed that Tigers captain Trent Cotchin had offered to pay the fine.