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Martin 'distressed' by investigation into drunken incident: Gale

Ben Guthrie  February 1, 2016 1:15 PM

AFL 2015 Training - Richmond 271115

Dustin Martin at Richmond training over the summer

Dustin did have a few drinks and he did act like a dill – we've addressed that

RICHMOND star Dustin Martin was "distressed" throughout the AFL's investigation into claims he threatened a woman with a chopstick, CEO Brendon Gale says.

An AFL probe found there was no evidence to support the allegation that an intoxicated Martin threatened at a Japanese restaurant in Melbourne in December.

"I think Dustin understands he in someway contributed to the situation by being drunk in a public place, but I think he's been very distressed by the way it (the incident) has been presented," Gale told SEN on Monday. 

"He understands he is a person of interest to the public, people have a fascination with him and how he looks and whether that's right or wrong I don't know. 

"It's been a very distressing period for him but he's certainly through it and moved on."

The AFL enquiry followed a police investigation that found no criminal offence took place

The star Tiger was handed a suspended $5000 fine by the club for unprofessional behaviour and intoxication.

Gale said Richmond considered launching legal action against some news outlets, including Channel Seven, for the way they portrayed Martin and the incident, but ultimately decided against it.

"We were disappointed in the way the broader story was presented; the way it was suggested Dusty could barely stand up or speak or he was acting like a lunatic or he was going to the toilets every five minutes," Gale said. 

"All these things presented a story that made an outcome more likely – we were disappointed with that. 

"Dustin did have a few drinks and he did act like a dill – we've addressed that and hopefully he'll move on from it."

Gale added that Martin's distress over fall-out from the incident didn't reduce its seriousness.

"This can’t have been an uncomplicated exercise for the complainant as well and if there are people out there who are victims of abuse or violence we'd expect and hope they come forward," he said.

"Had these allegations been substantiated this would be an entirely different situation.”

The incident took place at a Windsor restaurant 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 regret for his behaviour in a club statement, and apologised to the woman.

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

"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."

Martin will be free to play for Richmond when its NAB Challenge campaign kicks off against Fremantle at Mandurah on February 19.