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SBD Global/August 30, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Australian Football League Side Essendon Club Doctor Hird To Take Case To Supreme Court

The Australian Football League Commission has ruled that the hearing into Dr. Bruce Reid's case will be ''open'' and heard by the public, as the long-time Essendon club doctor seeks to take his case to the Supreme Court in a bid to clear his name, according to Jake Niall of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The AFL commission's three-member panel has ruled against Reid's attempt to have his case heard by an independent arbiter -- "he wants a retired Supreme Court judge to hear the matter." This ruling prompted the doctor's legal team to indicate it will seek an injunction in the Supreme Court, "in a bid to get his case heard by someone independent, rather than the AFL," which Reid said is biased and cannot give him a fair hearing. Reid's lawyer, Ross Gillies, argued to the commissioners that "Reid could not get a fair trial and that his case was complex and should not be heard by part-time commissioners, but by a retired Supreme Court judge." Reid "is expected to apply to get the matter in the Supreme Court next week." If he succeeds in his legal action, "his case will be heard" (THE AGE, 8/30). In Sydney, Chip Le Grand wrote the standoff between the AFL and its longest-serving club doctor came as Essendon coach James Hird "expressed regret at giving up his fight against the league." In a video message to club members, the banned coach apologized for the poorly managed '12 supplements program "which cost the club a place in this year's finals series," draft picks and a A$2M ($1.7M) fine. Hird: "I am also sorry that we did stop fighting and (to) all the people who wanted us to keep fighting, we weren't able to fight our way through it" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/30).
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