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Nixon fights to clear name

The Age

Saturday March 19, 2011

JON PIERIK

DISGRACED player agent Ricky Nixon will fight for his future in the AFL after his lawyers last night asked for more time to mount a defence.Nixon found to have been dishonest and lacking in integrity in his management of players after an investigation into allegations he consumed drugs and had sex with a teenage girl has formally told the AFL Players Association Agent Accreditation Board he intends to challenge the findings of David Galbally, QC.Nixon was granted seven days to do so but his lawyer Rod Lamplugh has requested an extension as he felt more time was needed as Nixon is still seeking help for his personal problems in a South Australian rehabilitation clinic.The agent accreditation board was last night debating that request. Board chairman Ian Prendergast had said earlier in the day he had felt "seven days was reasonable".Nixon does not have to appear in person at his appeal. Prendergast had said the only contact between Galbally and Nixon during the investigation had been via Lamplugh.The AFL was hopeful of a resolution before the start of the season but the Nixon saga threatens to take some of the focus off round one, beginning on Thursday night when Carlton and Richmond clash.Lamplugh had originally offered to have Nixon hand in his accreditation in the hope of avoiding an adverse finding but, with that move unsuccessful, the Nixon camp now believes it has little option but to fight Galbally's findings.Nixon, 47, has been formally suspended until his ultimate fate is known.His challenge could frustrate the clients of his management company Flying Start, who have been unable to make a decision on their futures until a final verdict is reached.AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou yesterday agreed it was fair to conclude that Nixon had "brought the game into disrepute"."There is no doubt from the findings that that is a valid comment. But he's got an opportunity to respond," Demetriou told 3AW."Just judging by what their findings are, and they found him guilty, these are very, very serious issues and very serious charges. He will have his opportunity to respond but, no doubt, given the serious nature of the findings, his future is obviously under serious question."Demetriou said the AFL would view Galbally's report, which the AFLPA has refused to release publicly.AFLPA chief executive Matt Finnis defended the decision to at least give Nixon seven days to respond, claiming it was only fair he had a right of reply.

© 2011 The Age

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