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St Kilda fire rape-accused recruit Lovett

Australian Rules side St Kilda have sacked recruit Andrew Lovett with immediate effect.

Lovett, who is facing a rape charge, was informed of the decision via a five-page letter signed by chief executive Michael Nettlefold.

The AFL and the AFL Players' Association are said to be considering their position on St Kilda's decision.

Lovett engaged lawyers to handle his contractual dispute with St Kilda after the ex-Essendon midfielder was suspended indefinitely while the rape allegations were investigated.

Lovett, 27, is due at Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday charged with one count of rape, which relates to an incident on Christmas Eve when a woman accused Lovett of sexual assault, which allegedly began when she slept.

Detectives have been investigating since Lovett was accused of raping the woman after a night out.

Lovett was traded to St Kilda for a first-round draft pick last October, after a series of disciplinary issues with Essendon.

Days before joining St Kilda Lovett was arrested -- though not charged -- for public drunkenness.

Speaking at a press conference, Nettlefold emphasised that the club's decision was not based on "whether Lovett was innocent or guilty."

"During Andrew's short tenure with the club, on a number of occasions he engaged in actions which were failures to comply with our standards of behavioural conduct.

"These failures related to his training commitments and a failure to contact club officials in a situation where he should have done so.

"We simply could not ignore such breaches, nor could we ignore the damage being done to St Kilda's reputation, and decided unanimously as a club to terminate Andrew Lovett's employment with the Saints.

Lovett never appeared in an Aussie Rules game wearing St Kilda's colours.


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