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No Brownlow doubt for Hird

Essendon captain Jobe Watson won't be stripped of his Brownlow medal, says coach James Hird.

PT2M11S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2owuc 620 349

Sydney Swans Norm Smith Medallist Ryan O'Keefe believes Essendon captain Jobe Watson should not be surprised if his Brownlow Medal award from last season is revoked.

Asked on Wednesday if Watson's admission that he took a banned substance as part of his club's supplement program in 2012 should result in his Brownlow being cancelled, O'Keefe said: "That's for the powers that be, to make that decision. I think it comes down to if you take a banned substance or you don't take a banned substance. If you take a banned substance, then expect the full wrath of the authority.

Jobe Watson with his Brownlow medal last year.

Jobe Watson with his Brownlow medal last year. Photo: Penny Stephens

"I don't think you can complain about what comes your way."

Watson told Fox Footy's On the Couch program on Monday that he had taken the anti-obesity drug AOD-9604, which is banned under the World Anti-Doping Agency's code.

Essendon's 2012 supplement program is being investigated by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and AFL. Essendon has argued that AOD-9604 was not on WADA's banned list at the
time of use, and that it is not performance-enhancing.

Swans player and Norm Smith medallist Ryan O'Keefe.

Swans player and Norm Smith medallist Ryan O'Keefe. Photo: Pat Scala

O'Keefe, who has played 269 games and won two premierships with the Swans, described Watson's admission as "very interesting".

"It's hard to know, till the final things come out, till the facts have been laid out on the table," he said.

Asked if he was shocked by Watson's admission, O'Keefe said: "I suppose so, yeah. You'd say it would. Until the investigation's finished you probably wouldn't be admitting something, I wouldn't think. I'm not sure. Jobe's pretty smart and calculated guy. I'd say he knew what he was doing."

Earlier on Wednesday Essendon coach James Hird gave his strong backing to Watson, despite the player publicly admitting he took a banned substance.

Hird says he is not disappointed in Watson's admission, and also believes the midfielder's Brownlow Medal is not tainted nor in doubt because of it.

"I didn't know that was going to be said," Hird said of Watson's admission.

"I'm never disappointed with Jobe Watson. Jobe's a man of the highest integrity, highest character, a great person for our footy club."

with AAP