Australian Rules-Hawthorn staff cleared after probe into treatment of Indigenous players

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - An independent panel investigating historical allegations of mistreatment of Indigenous players at Hawthorn has found no instances of abuse by staff at the Australian Football League (AFL) club.

The AFL formed a panel last October to investigate "extremely serious" allegations from former players covering the period 2008 to 2016, including one footballer who said coaches had urged him to have his partner's pregnancy aborted.

The accusations were made against former Hawthorn head coach Alastair Clarkson, his one-time assistant Chris Fagan and the club's former welfare manager Chris Burt.

All three denied any wrongdoing.

The AFL said on Tuesday the governing body and the six complainants whose allegations triggered the investigation had resolved that "no adverse findings" had been made against the Hawthorn staff.

"The AFL has now terminated the Independent Panel Investigation with the consent of the Complainants with no charges to be brought against any Person subject to the AFL Rules as a result of the Independent Investigation," the AFL said in a statement.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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