GOLD Coast co-captain Touk Miller has copped a one-match ban from the AFL for his tackle on Brisbane's Dayne Zorko last weekend, leaving the Suns "extremely disappointed" with the decision.
Less than 48 hours before the Suns' crucial game against Adelaide, Miller has been suspended for one match for 'conduct unbecoming' after he was found to have made contact with the groin region of Zorko that the AFL determined "caused Zorko pain and discomfort".
Zorko made the claim against Miller immediately following a tackle in the Suns' upset win over the Lions last Saturday, with the former Lions skipper needing to be held back by his opponents as he remonstrated.
The incident was not referenced in the Match Review Officer's report last Sunday but following public comments by Zorko on Monday that his groin was "quite bruised" from the incident, the AFL launched an investigation.
"We accept the AFL's decision but as a club we are extremely disappointed in the outcome," Gold Coast footy boss Wayne Campbell said on Thursday.
"Touk is the captain of our football club and has built a reputation as a fair and strong leader who is admired by the entire AFL community.
"He is one of the most highly respected players in the competition and it's disappointing his integrity and character has been tarnished during this process."
Miller said: "It was not my intention to harm Dayne and if that has occurred from my actions I would like to apologise to him."
In a statement, the AFL said it interviewed both players during the week following Zorko's comments during a radio interview.
"The AFL today has concluded its investigation into an on-field incident involving Gold Coast player Touk Miller and Brisbane Lions player Dayne Zorko," an AFL statement on Thursday read.
"In the third quarter of Saturday’s match, there was a contest between the two players, which saw Miller’s right hand make contact with Zorko’s groin region external to his clothing in a tackling contest.
"The MRO reviewed video of the passage of play and with the evidence before him, including the medical report and there being no complaint from the player or club to the AFL, the MRO ultimately determined the vision was inconclusive and did not lay a charge.
"In the period following the match, further information came to light including as a result of Zorko making public comment in relation to the incident and by the provision of a further medical report.
"Based on the information that was subsequently presented, the AFL conducted an investigation in which both players were interviewed and the vision was reviewed.
"That investigation found that Miller made contact with the groin region of Zorko in a manner that caused Zorko pain and discomfort and ultimately constituted conduct unbecoming in breach of AFL Rule 2.3(a).
"In reliance on that breach of AFL Rule 2.3(a), the AFL imposed a sanction of one match on Touk Miller which he has accepted.
"Miller will be unavailable for selection for the Gold Coast Suns' Round 21 match against Adelaide Crows this weekend."