The Western Bulldogs will consider seeking an extraordinary Supreme Court intervention, with Katie Brennan's AFLW grand-final hopes dashed by the appeals board.
The two-game suspension imposed on the Bulldogs' skipper for rough conduct on Melbourne's Harriet Cordner was upheld on Thursday afternoon in a two-hour hearing.
All four grounds of the Bulldogs' appeal against Tuesday night's tribunal decision were dismissed.
However Bulldogs president Peter Gordon has not ruled out heading to court on the eve of Saturday's season decider against Brisbane at Ikon Park.
"Obviously, it's a terribly disappointing decision for Katie and for her teammates and for the whole club really," Gordon told reporters after the hearing.
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"We will consider our position."
It is not immediately clear what legal options remain available to the Bulldogs.
Sydney fullback Andrew Dunkley was reported for striking James Hird in the 1996 preliminary final, only for the Swans to obtain a Supreme Court injunction preventing the case being heard until after the grand final.
A Bulldogs decision is expected early on Friday morning, however Brennan has been named in their side for Saturday's grand final while the Dogs consider their options.
Brennan's legal team argued during the hearing that her suspension was discriminatory because a male player would have only been fined for the equivalent offence.
The wide-ranging defence mounted by advocate Jack Rush QC touched on the Equal Opportunity Act, the AFL's respect and responsibility policy and sexual discrimination laws.
"It is close to extraordinary that a woman in the women's league could have a penalty of suspension when an equivalent offence in the men's league does not amount to a suspension," Rush said.
"By reason of the structure of the AFLW and the rules, the women are paid less and exposed to being suspended more for comparable transgressions to their male counterparts."
AFL legal counsel Andrew Woods argued these were all matters that should have been raised during the failed tribunal hearing, led by criminal lawyer Sam Norton.
Brennan's tackle on Cordner, who was shaken but able to play out the game, was classified as low impact, high contact and careless conduct.
As it was Brennan's second classifiable offence for the season, the penalty increased from a reprimand to a one-game ban which triggered the tribunal challenge.
In the men's competition, the two charges would still only attract a fine.
The appeals board was shown vision of similar tackles involving West Coast's Jack Redden and Essendon's Ben Howlett last season, with both players receiving fines.
Brennan's legal team argued that in each of those cases, the player being tackled had received less protection than Cordner because their arms were pinned.