STEVEN May is free to play in Melbourne’s next match – a top-of-the-ladder showdown against Brisbane at the MCG on June 23 – after the AFL on Wednesday night spared him further sanction over his fight with a teammate.
The AFL chose to conduct its own investigation into the May-Jake Melksham drunken punch-on of two weekends ago, after the Demons had suspended May from last Monday’s Queen’s Birthday match against Collingwood.
In a statement, the AFL said: “The AFL has tonight completed its enquiry into the Steven May and Jake Melksham incident that occurred last week in Greville Street, Prahran.
“After multiple interviews and review of CCTV vision from the night, the AFL is satisfied the initial club-imposed sanctions are appropriate and will take no further action.
“The Melbourne Football Club suspended Steven May for one-match and ordered community service work for both May and Melksham.
“As previously stated, the club has taken the matter extremely seriously, however the AFL wishes to reinforce that no matter the situation or circumstances, violence is never the answer. As professional footballers, as people, we expect better.”
Melbourne, which had won its previous 17 matches – the final seven of 2021 and opening 10 of 2022 - has lost its past three games – against Fremantle, when May was concussed in the first quarter, Sydney, when May missed under concussion protocols, and Collingwood.
It will be without its five-time All-Australian ruckman Max Gawn indefinitely, after he was diagnosed with a syndesmosis injury after the loss to the Pies.