SYDNEY superstar Lance Franklin has overturned his one-match suspension for striking and will be available for Saturday night's clash against Essendon at the Gabba.
The decision is a major win for the Swans in their late-season push for a top-four finish while also giving Franklin the best possible chance to kick the 17 goals he needs to reach the 1000-goal milestone this season.
Sydney sought to have the impact of Franklin's elbow to Fremantle defender Luke Ryan downgraded from medium to low, while pleading guilty to careless conduct and high contact.
After more than 25 minutes deliberating, the jury of Stephen Jurica, Paul Williams and Jason Johnson agreed and overturned the one-match ban handed down by match review officer Michael Christian.
Franklin, who attended the hearing via video link and was represented by Duncan Miller, was instead fined $3000 for the striking charge.
"Franklin was being twisted off balance and falling backwards and therefore we consider the appropriate grading is low impact," the jury said in handing down its finding.
Miller and the Swans presented three low impact striking cases from this season as their evidence, arguing the impact of Franklin's hit was less severe than all of them.
The incidents involved West Coast captain Luke Shuey, Brisbane forward Joe Daniher, and Richmond defender David Astbury, who were all fined for their actions.
The Swans were granted permission from Tribunal chair Murray Kellam to submit the evidence, despite the three cases not sitting within the 2021 Tribunal Guidelines.
AFL counsel Jeff Gleeson argued that Franklin's case differed because he had made contact to Ryan with the point of his elbow to Ryan's face and had swung back with a "vigorous" motion.
Ryan was able to play on after the incident but the Dockers' medical report showed he had been assessed for concussion as a precaution.
Mr Gleeson argued that strikes with a forearm or elbow were not typically graded as low impact under the Tribunal Guidelines, regardless of any injury sustained, due to the risk of serious injury.
"It was good luck and not good management that there wasn't an injury to the player (Ryan)," he said.
Mr Miller apportioned blame for the incident to Ryan, who he said had "scragged" Franklin once play had stopped and then continued as the instigator of a "melee" after he had been struck.
He countered Gleeson's argument that Ryan would not have expected contact from Franklin, asking why Ryan "wouldn't expect resistance if he was the one initiating it".
"He continues the melee that he had begun when the ball was out of bounds in the first place and dragged player Franklin back," Miller argued.
"He is dragging him back with tangled legs and twisted legs into the ground."