The AFL Players Association has criticised the league over their decision to block transgender athlete Hannah Mouncey from entering the women's draft.
Mouncey, a transgender footballer, was barred by the league from this year's draft less than 24 hours before it is held in Melbourne.
It is understood an AFL sub-committee rejected her draft nomination based on an exception in the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission's guidelines 'Trans and gender diverse inclusion in sport - complying with the Equal Opportunity Act 2010'.
The exception is to ensure players don't have an unfair competitive advantage in single-sex competitions where the strength, stamina or physique of players is relevant.
"The sub-committee's decision took into account the stage of maturity of the AFLW competition, its current player cohort and Ms Mouncey's individual circumstances," an AFL statement read.
"Ms Mouncey may nominate for future AFLW drafts and for registration in other Australian Football competitions."
The recreational nature of state-based women's leagues - as opposed to the semi-professional AFLW - is understood to be the key factor in her continued participation.
The sub-committee was made up of AFL commissioners Jason Ball, Gabrielle Trainor and Major General Simone Wilkie, AFL general manager inclusion and social policy Tanya Hosch and AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon.
The AFLPA has since criticised the league for a lack of transparency and dragging its feet on the issue.
"Whilst Hannah was provided with the opportunity to discuss her application with the AFL, the AFLPA believes there should have been clear guidelines available for transgender players wishing to enter the AFLW draft this year," the PA's Brett Murphy said.
"No athlete should face such confusion around their eligibility for an elite competition just days out from a draft."
Having previously played for the Australian men's handball team, Mouncey began a gender transition in 2015.
The 190cm, 100kg ruck played eight games for Ainslie in Canberra's women's competition this season and kicked 17 goals.
The AFL follows International Olympic Committee protocols which state an athlete must prove their testosterone count is below a certain level.
It is understood Mouncey meets those requirements.