Australian Football League Side Essendon Continues To Claim Innocence, Awaits Findings
Australian Football League club Essendon "expects to be charged" by the AFL Monday or Tuesday for "governance issues arising from a 12-month period of supplements scandals," according to Greg Denham of THE AUSTRALIAN. An Essendon spokesperson said Sunday that the club "had not been officially notified of any charges by the AFL." The spokesperson said, "But no doubt they will come. We're expecting something early in the week. We're expecting to be notified of the next stage in the process, and if it's charges, then the club will respond at the appropriate time." Essendon also "maintained their stand that they were not expecting to be deducted premiership points by the league" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/12). In Sydney, Roy Masters reported the recently released Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority report on the Essendon investigation "provides the AFL with enough evidence to charge the Bombers as a club, and their officials, leading to bans, loss of draft choices and fines" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 8/12).
CLUB MAINTAINS STANCE: In Melbourne, Matt Murnane reported Essendon "remains steadfast its players did not take any illegal or performance-enhancing drugs last season and is likely to challenge any findings to the contrary as the AFL prepares to announce charges against the club." Essendon Chair Paul Little said on Sunday in his pre-game address that the club "would get the chance to tell its side of the story should the AFL bring charges." Little: "According to the weekend press, charges are expected to be laid against the club and some of our club employees in the next few days. Should this be the case, we will then be in a position to carefully examine the charges, understanding the evidence that the AFL has relied upon to lay the charges, and then, after due consideration and deliberation, [we will] determine our response" (THE AGE, 8/12).