Eagle-eyed television viewers picked up an a key absence from Channel 9's news broadcasts in Adelaide on Wednesday night.
Former Port Adelaide star Warren Tredrea did not take his usual place on the sports desk for Wednesday's broadcast, his absence notably on the day the network's Covid-19 vaccine mandate came into effect.
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It is not known whether or not Tredrea has been vaccinated at the time of writing, however he has in past interviews claimed to have not taken the vaccination against the coronavirus.
The company mandate is nationwide, with sports journalist Tom Rehn set to take the seat at the sports desk from Monday.
Sources told South Australian masthead The Advertiser that the network was engaged in talks with the former premiership player to work out a solution, with Tredrea likely to take leave in the short term.
In addition to his duties for Channel 9, where he has worked since 2013, Tredrea also has numerous football media commitments with the radio station FiveAA.
In an interview for FiveAA back in September, Tredrea said he was yet to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and maintained his belief that it should be a personal choice to do so.
“No I’m not, I’m fully vaccinated … but I’m not Covid vaccinated,” he said.
“Everyone is entitled to what they want to do because it’s your body.”
“It’s everyone’s individual situation and choice. So if a player doesn’t want to do it, that’s fine, that’s their decision. You shouldn’t be able to lose your employment.”
Interestingly, Rehn made an appearance of his own on FiveAA on Thursday, with the hosts saying they were hopeful Tredrea would “come to his senses and get jabbed”.
He said he was also hopeful his colleague would get vaccinated against the virus.
“It was a strange day that’s for sure,” Rehn said.
“Warren’s someone I consider a very close friend and a great person to work with. I hope he is going to be there,
“As far as I’m aware he’s on some leave at the moment, he was due to go off pretty soon anyway. I’m hoping we see him back, he’s an A-grade person, fantastic guy to work with and a great team player.”
AFL legend Ron Barassi positive for COVID-19
Australian rules football legend Ron Barassi has tested positive for COVID-19, ruling him out of taking part in Melbourne's long-awaited AFL premiership celebrations at the MCG.
The 85-year-old is understood to have contracted coronavirus at a 70th birthday party for former VFL player and media identity Peter "Crackers" Keenan last month.
A spokesperson for Barassi told The Age he and his wife were both double vaccinated and they did not need to go to hospital.
Barassi was set to hand over the premiership cup to Demons coach Simon Goodwin and captain Max Gawn in the club's official Victorian celebrations on Sunday.
Instead, a "surprise member of the Melbourne alumni" will have the honour after club great and media identity Garry Lyon did so after September's grand final victory at Optus Stadium in Perth.
Former Melbourne coach Neale Daniher will present Goodwin with the Jock McHale Medal, while Christian Petracca will receive his Norm Smith Medal from Demons games record-holder David Neitz.
For 57 years, Barassi was Melbourne's most-recent premiership captain, having led the Demons to the 1964 flag.
Such is Barassi's stature in the sport, he was inducted as one of the first legends in the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
He played in six premierships during a golden era for the Demons between 1953 and 1964.
Barassi later coached Carlton and North Melbourne to two premierships each.
He also had coaching stints with the Demons and the Sydney Swans.
Melbourne's official premiership party is set to be attended by about 40,000 fans - most of whom were stuck in Victoria's lockdown and unable to the drought-breaking flag live at the venue.
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