Dogs, AFL bite back at Talia report
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The AFL and Western Bulldogs have hit back at a report raising questions about the league's handling of the investigation into the Talia brothers late last year.
It was claimed that then Bulldogs defender Michael gave intimate tactical information to his brother Daniel at Adelaide before the Crows defeated the Dogs in the elimination final at the MCG.
The Herald Sun reported on Monday that the AFL champions were angry about the league's handling of the probe and its exoneration of the brothers.
The AFL branded Monday's article unfair to all concerned parties.
"The Australian Football League stands by the investigation conducted in the 2015 post-season period, and its decision, and notes that the Western Bulldogs have accepted the outcome," a statement read.
"In this matter, the AFL received numerous submissions and conducted a broad range of interviews. The documents made public today are only one side of the story, and their publication is unfair to all parties involved.
"The AFL reiterates that the Western Bulldogs acted appropriately in reporting the matter."
The report said that president Peter Gordon, on behalf of the Bulldogs, had contacted the AFL questioning the finding as they had "independent corroboration" of the allegations.
The Talias, who have always maintained their innocence, were cleared by the AFL last November after a 63-day integrity unit investigation.
Gordon said while he felt the investigation had some "bumps in the road", the Bulldogs had accepted the outcome.
"They've ultimately made a decision that we accept and we've moved on," Gordon told SEN radio.
"We have a great deal of faith (in the AFL) and these things will always test the processes but we believe the competition is in good hands and everyone did the best they could ultimately."
The Bulldogs condemned the newspaper and said it had presented "one side" of the investigation and would seek legal advice about the use of the documents.
"We didn't provide them, we didn't agree to them publishing them," Gordon said.
"They're confidential documents and we're pretty disappointed that they've seen the light of day.
"It's our side of the story; we don't have the power that the AFL have got to go and see the other side and hear their version.
"I don't think it serving anyone's interest to be rehashed."
Meanwhile, Daniel Talia asked for his family's privacy to be respected with his grandfather in poor health.
The Crows star posted an emotional message on Instagram.
"At the moment my family is going through something bigger than football so I ask that everyone please respect our privacy as my inspiration and my Pa Harvey fights his own battle," Talia wrote.