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Stynes standing defended by wife

By AAP .
19 February 2013 11:41AM EST

THE wife of revered Melbourne AFL star and club president Jim Stynes has defended him in the lead-up to official findings on tanking allegations at the AFL club.

Stynes, who died almost a year ago, was club president in 2009 when the club was alleged to have deliberately lost games in its efforts to secure better draft picks.

Melbourne are expected to be fined $500,000, with sanctions likely to be imposed on former coach Dean Bailey and football operations boss Chris Connolly.

Debate has swirled over whether Stynes knew about the tanking, but with the AFL set to hand down its findings, Sam Stynes says she doesn't think the saga will tarnish his reputation.

She said Stynes, who battled cancer, was gravely ill in 2009.

"He wasn't working 24/7 in the club, he did the odd thing when he was needed and he didn't know what was going on all the time," Sam Stynes told Fairfax radio.

"He was gravely ill, it's not like he had a cold, he was fighting for his life and he had other more important issues that he was focusing on."

She said she had received great support during the AFL's six-month investigation.

"At the end of the day I don't think it's going to tarnish his reputation, I've had tremendous support from people who just say .. they're sick of hearing about it six months on."

Sam Stynes said she wished her husband was here to speak for himself, but in his absence, she was backing him.

"He's gone, I just want him to be able to rest in peace."

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