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Irish Aussie Rules player banned after pleading guilty to biting incident

Conor McKenna, 22, was charged with serious misconduct after lining out for the Essendon Bombers at the weekend.

Image: AAP/PA Images

TYRONE’S CONOR MCKENNA has been suspended for three weeks after pleading guilty to biting an opponent while in action for Essendon Bombers in their AFL clash against the Western Bulldogs.

McKenna was charged with serious misconduct and referred directly to the AFL Tribunal following an incident with Western Bulldog’s Tory Dickson during the second quarter of their Round 3 game at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The 22-year-old pleaded guilty at the start of Tuesday night’s Tribunal hearing, and will miss his side’s upcoming games against Port Adelaide, Collingwood and Melbourne as a result.

According to the Bulldogs’ medical report, Dickson suffered a red mark on his neck, but no penetration of the skin or bleeding. He also did not require medical treatment at the time of the incident.

McKenna’s legal representative Adrian Anderson argued that a two-match suspension would be an appropriate course of action, and referred to a previous case in which a player was found guilty of an alleged bite on an opponent’s forearm.

But Tribunal chairman David Jones noted that McKenna’s bite had been to Dickson’s neck, which had involved greater potential for serious injury and infection.

AFL.com writes that McKenna expressed his regret over the incident when speaking to reporters afterwards.

“I take responsibility for my actions. I’m very sorry for what I’ve done and am looking forward to moving on and getting on with the season,” he said.

Tadhg Kenneally gave character evidence for the Eglish native via conference call, in which he said that he had known McKenna for five years and had always known him to play football in the right spirit.

McKenna lined out for the Tyrone minors in the 2013 All-Ireland final, and signed a new four-year deal with Essendon last year.

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