Claiming that he had been unusually agitated because of low blood sugar levels before the game was not enough to save Paddy McCartin from a five-match suspension at the VFL tribunal on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile Melbourne forward Bayley Fritsch is free to take on the Swans in the AFL this weekend after the AFL tribunal separately found him not guilty of striking North Melbourne’s Tom Powell on Sunday.
Seeking to revive his AFL career, McCartin will now miss almost one-third of the state league season, a huge blow to his chances of getting a second chance at the top level.
The former No.1 draft pick pleaded guilty to intentionally striking Geelong’s Aaron Black during a reserves game at Sydney’s Tramway Oval on Saturday in an incident that left the Cat with a swollen jaw but no concussion.
McCartin, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of eight, told the tribunal that he had been unusually agitated in the lead-up to the game. He said that he headed to the bench shortly before the commencement of the match to check his blood sugar level, which was 3.8, considerably lower than usual. He therefore ingested a gel to normalise his blood sugar level.
The key forward told the tribunal that he was then involved in a push and shove with Black, alleging that Black sledged him by calling him “unfit.”
McCartin said this riled him up more than it would have ordinarily because of his blood sugar situation.
“I was more agitated than I normally would be out on a footy field, due to my blood sugars,” McCartin said.
McCartin claimed he was trying to punch Black in the chest to gain separation from the Cat but accidentally hit him in the jaw.