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Martin handed suspended fine over restaurant incident

Dustin Martin has avoided suspension over a drunken incident - ${keywords}
Dustin Martin has avoided suspension over a drunken incident

RICHMOND star Dustin Martin has been handed a suspended $5000 fine by the club over an alleged threat against a woman, following an AFL investigation.

The Tigers said on Thursday that the AFL probe found there was no evidence to support the allegation that an intoxicated Martin threatened a woman with a chopstick at a Japanese restaurant in Melbourne last month.

This followed a Victoria Police investigation that found no criminal offence took place.

The club said it issued the fine because of Martin's unprofessional behaviour and intoxication.

"The club is disappointed that Dustin was intoxicated on the night," the Tigers said in a statement. 

"When challenged by the complainant for being disruptive, he was argumentative and used obscene language.

“He has acknowledged this and has apologised for any offence or distress his behaviour caused. His apology was accepted by the complainant.

“As a professional athlete Dustin enjoys a privileged lifestyle. With professionalism comes responsibility and we expect much better from our players and all personnel."

In a statement, the AFL said it was satisfied with Richmond's response.

"The behaviour of Dustin Martin, intoxicated and using obscene language in a public place, breaches the Player Code of Conduct," AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said. 

"But the evidence does not support further allegations of physically intimidating or threatening behavior."

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan on Thursday announced that the AFL would begin a review of its Respect and Responsibility Policy and approaches to dealing with allegations of intimidating, threatening or violence behaviour towards women.

Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commissioner Kate Jenkins has agreed to oversee a review of the AFL's policies and processes.  

McLachlan said the AFL was committed to leading a shift in the culture of how the industry addressed the broader issues of behaviour towards women. 

The alleged incident involving Martin took place at Windsor restaurant Mr Miyagi after a drunken Martin had spent the day with revellers at the Stereosonic music festival.

A 30-year-old Sydney woman made a complaint to the Tigers, after which Martin expressed his regret for his behaviour in a statement, and also apologised to the woman.

"Regrettably, I was intoxicated and that, in itself, is completely unacceptable," Martin said.

"I do, however, take responsibility for my behaviour and I am deeply embarrassed. If anything I have said or done has caused anyone to feel threatened, then that is totally inappropriate."

The incident saw Richmond legend Kevin Bartlett call for Martin to be suspended for 12 months.

Richmond starts its NAB Challenge campaign against Fremantle at Mandurah on February 19.