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Essendon's Watson hands back his AFL's top player award

Associated Press Associated Press 11/11/2016

MELBOURNE, Australia — Jobe Watson has returned the Brownlow Medal, which he earned as the best player of the 2012 Australian Football League season, in the wake of the Essendon supplements scandal.

Watson was one of 33 past or present Essendon players sanctioned over the club's use of banned supplements in 2012.

The AFL commission was due to meet next week to decide whether to strip Watson of the medal — one of Australian sport's highest honors — but their decision was pre-empted.

In a statement on Friday, Watson said "if there is a question in people's minds as to whether the 2012 award is tainted, the fairest and best thing to do is to give it back and honor the history that has gone before me."

The club was stripped of competition points, and a coach was banned during the long-running saga.

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