Koch says AFL railroaded Powell-Pepper

Ben Weir and Roger Vaughan

Port Adelaide president David Koch has blasted the AFL over the Sam Powell-Pepper investigation, saying the player was railroaded.

The midfielder has already sat out two games while the investigation into his drunken nightclub incident ran its course.

On Wednesday, the AFL announced Powell-Pepper would be suspended for three matches which also ruled him out of Saturday's clash with North Melbourne.

The AFL said Powell-Pepper "engaged in inappropriate behaviour that is unbecoming for an AFL player by being intoxicated in a public place and by making inappropriate contact with a female".

Koch accused the head of the AFL integrity unit of not looking at all video relating to the incident, although Power CEO Keith Thomas said later in the day that the league had viewed the vision.

"The whole respect and responsibility policy leaves the clubs in the dark. They take complete control. I issued them a grievance notice before they would start talking sense," Koch said in a statement to Triple M.

"My biggest issue was they are railroading a kid and trying to re-build their reputation with women because of the misdemeanours of their own former executives.

David Koch. Pic: Getty

"In Sam Powell-Pepper's case, a woman anonymously made these claims, did not press charges with police - which we were happy for her to do. We have vision of the entire night and the head of the integrity unit refused to see it.

"I'm putting it on the agenda at the next presidents' meeting."

Last year, senior AFL executives Simon Lethlean and Richard Simkiss resigned because of affairs with junior colleagues.

Thomas refused to publicly release video footage of the nightclub incident involving Powell-Pepper, while insisting it showed "a huge discrepancy" between media reports and what actually occurred.

"That touching was a long, long way away from sexual assault," Thomas said on Thursday.

Thomas criticised the initial reporting of the incident by the Seven Network, whom Koch coincidentally works for as a presenter.

"It is very, very disappointing, it created a environment with difficulty to achieve fairness," he said.

Thomas said any accusation of sexual assault "can leave a stain on someone's life forever".

Port Adelaide CEO Keith Thomas. Pic: AAP

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire said there was a broader issue of growing discontent among the clubs about how the AFL treats them.

"The clubs are getting sick of getting treated like franchises," McGuire told Triple M.

"The AFL Commission was brought into place to act on behalf of clubs.

"There's a very strong feeling that the clubs are there as a necessary impediment to the AFL hierarchy - that's not Gil McLachlan, that's the levels underneath (him).

"It has (been) building for a long time ... the pendulum swings too far and the pendulum has to come back."