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McKenna to return to training after serving AFL ban for breaking Covid-19 protocols

McKenna’s club Essendon face Collingwood this Friday night.

Essendon player Conor McKenna (file photo)
Essendon player Conor McKenna (file photo)
Image: AAP/PA Images

IRISH AFL PLAYER Conor McKenna is free to return to action this weekend after already serving the one-match suspension handed out to him for breaching Covid-19 protocols.

The former Tyrone underage star has been in the spotlight after testing positive for Covid-19 which resulted in his club Essendon’s game being postponed.

However there was confusion then after it emerged that McKenna subsequent test came back negative and initial results may have provided a false positive.

The Eglish native has been in quarantine since the positive test and served his suspension when missing out on Essendon’s 52-51 loss to Carlton over the weekend.

However in a statement with an update on the situation, Essendon explained that McKenna is now free to return to training and as his club prepare to play Collingwood on Friday at the MCG in the Round 5 fixture.

The statement reads in full:

“The AFL confirms Essendon player Conor McKenna breached AFL Return to Play protocols.

“Conor visited the residence of his former host family’s home, without gaining approval for the visit from his club, which is a breach of the AFL’s Return To Play Protocols.

“The AFL looked into the matter and as a result Conor was suspended for one week (already served in Round Four) meaning that he will be available for selection in Round Five.

“It should be noted that the breach is understood not to be the cause of his COVID-19 positive test. That cause has not yet been determined.

“AFL General Counsel Andrew Dillon said it was important, now more than ever, that players and officials adhered to the protocols.

“The protocols in place have been established to ensure the safety of the players, their families, clubs, staff and the wider community. Now, more than ever, we all must continue to be vigilant,” Mr Dillon said.

“On behalf of the AFL, I would like to thank Conor and the Essendon Football Club for their cooperation during this challenging period.”

“The AFL also investigated Conor’s attendance at rental inspections and will not take any action in respect of that matter.

“Conor has been released from quarantine and is permitted to return to training at the club.”
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Fintan O'Toole

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