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SBD Global/August 27, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Australian Football League Essendon Scandal Continues As Officials Charged Wait For Ruling

The four Australian Football League Essendon officials charged over the club's supplement scandal "are no closer to learning their fates after a full of day of negotiations at league headquarters," according to Chip Le Grand of THE AUSTRALIAN. Coach James Hird will Tuesday "make a formal application for the AFL Commission to disqualify itself from hearing the case against him." His co-accused, assistant coach Mark Thompson, football Manager Danny Corcoran and club doctor Bruce Reid "will also return to AFL House for further negotiations but no resolution in site" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/27). In Sydney, Pierik & Wilson reported player agents "were called to a secret meeting on Monday where they were reminded of the legal avenues they can explore for Essendon players dealing with the supplements saga." While the legal ramifications surrounding the Bombers' '11-12 injecting program were high on the agenda, the "chief concern of agents remains the potential long-term health effects of their players" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 8/27). Also in Sydney, Pierik & Wilson reported in a separate piece Thompson said Hird could "struggle" to return as coach if he was suspended for 12 months for his role in the club's contentious supplements program. While Hird said on Saturday that "he would want to return," with club Chair Paul Little endorsing that desire, Thompson admitted after five hours of dealing with the AFL lawyers on Monday that that may not be the case. Thompson "described himself as a pawn in the situation, with Hird as the big fish." On Hird, who is facing a 12-month ban, Thompson said, ''He's a young coach who is learning his way and he never deliberately set out to do anything wrong" (THE AGE, 8/27).
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