Isaac Heeney and Izak Rankine. Pictures: AFL Photos

ISAAC Heeney is ineligible to win the Brownlow Medal after his one-match suspension was upheld at the Tribunal on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile Adelaide midfielder Izak Rankine was also unsuccessful in his attempt to have his four-match ban for a bump on Brandon Starcevich downgraded and will miss the next four matches.

Sydney argued Heeney's incident with Jimmy Webster on Sunday was careless and not intentional as originally graded by the Match Review Officer.

However, after 60 minutes of evidence and 40 minutes of deliberation, he was unsuccessful and is now not only unable to win the game's most coveted individual award, but will also miss Saturday's game against North Melbourne.

Heeney gave evidence and argued he was trying to "swat" Webster's hands away that were clutching at both his jumper and shorts.

"I accidentally made high contact and it wasn't my intention. My thoughts went straight to him," Heeney said.

The star Swans midfielder said that particular use of forward craft happened "50 to 100 times" in a game and that his swat was in a downward motion.

He denied seeing Webster in his peripheral vision and said he was surprised the Saint's head had dropped below the level of his own shoulder when he made contact.


The AFL argued Heeney's action was a strike, leaving Webster with a bloody nose, and therefore intentional.

The Tribunal agreed, with chairman Jeff Gleeson dropping the hammer blow.

"We do not regard the action of Heeney as only a swat," Gleeson said.

"It was a forceful blow to Webster's face.

"He intended that blow to make contact with Webster, albeit not to his face. We are not satisfied that he intended only to make contact with Webster's hands.

"This was an intentional strike resulting in injury and accordingly we consider a one-match suspension is appropriate."

Sydney counsel Duncan Miller even argued Heeney's good record should be considered, with just two fines, and no suspensions, during his 193-game career.

This was also unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, Rankine will miss the next four games after the gun Crow's ban for rough conduct was upheld.


The Crows argued the incident should be graded as careless rather than intentional, which would have resulted in a three-match ban instead of four matches.

"The clash of heads was accidental. You cannot be satisfied that Rankine intended high contact," Adelaide's lawyer Andrew Culshaw said.

But the three-person Tribunal panel needed just 14 minutes to deliberate and find Rankine guilty as originally charged.

It means Rankine will miss games against St Kilda, Essendon, Hawthorn and Geelong.