Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says the club has nothing to hide and an MRI scan proves that ruckman Jonathon Griffin injured his groin during the warm-up on Saturday and had to be replaced by Aaron Sandilands moments before the opening bounce against Richmond.
The AFL have asked Fremantle to explain why Sandilands played when he wasn't named in the original team. Richmond coach Damien Hardwick claimed the move was within the rules but outside the spirit of the game.
Lyon was adamant that Griffin broke down in the warm-up when speaking after the match. But with rumours swirling throughout last week that Sandilands was always going to play, he launched a passionate defence last night.
He said the club had since spoken to the AFL about the incident and had MRI scans which proved that Griffin had injured his groin.
Lyon said Griffin struggled with a groin problem during the week but had trained fully before gaining selection. He said the club wanted Griffin to play because of Sandilands' limited preparation after a long-term toe injury.
"He didn't train on T1 (training night one) because he had some tightness. He trained fully in T2, we selected him and he was in no doubt whatsoever," Lyon told 6PR.
"The only way Aaron was going to play was if Matthew Pavlich was in severe doubt, and Aaron would have played, and clearly what occurred which was a new injury.
"Our doctor sends off a signed letter. He's spoken to (the AFL's doctor) Harry Unglik about his adductor. He's had a positive MRI scan and they're available on request.
"The AFL emailed today that there's going to be a Royal Commission into this. There's three simultaneous into Buddy Franklin, Jason Blake and into Jon Griffin. It's stock standard."
Franklin and Blake were also late withdrawals for Hawthorn and St Kilda, but their unavailability was known when the final teams were submitted.
Griffin is yet to be ruled out for this week but faces an uphill battle to get back into the team after Sandilands performed strongly.
Lyon said he was confident the club's medical and fitness staff would give him a strong team to select for Sunday's game against North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium. Midfielder Tendai Mzungu (shoulder) and Pavlich (leg) are also battling injuries.
Pavlich, who is leading the Coleman Medal by four goals, was confident he would be available.
"I've been sore for a couple of weeks, but nothing too unusual for this time of the year," Pavlich told Nine News.
"Throughout the game I had some treatment on the lower half of my body. I'm pretty confident that if I do all the right things throughout this week, which I have been doing as early as Saturday evening, we'll be fine to get up for the game.
"I will be doing everything possible because we know what a big game it will be."