AFL Club Essendon Likely To Pursue Plea Deal; NRL Rejects Calls To Ban Cronulla
Australian Football League side Essendon "is likely to go it alone from its coach James Hird on Monday and pursue a plea deal with the AFL that will have the club barred from this year's finals, fined heavily and missing two years of prime draft picks," according to Michael Gleeson of THE AGE. Hird is shaping to continue his personal legal resistance to the charges leveled against him and unless a deal was able to be brokered overnight on Sunday "will enter the commission hearing and insist the AFL is compromised and does not have the jurisdiction to hear the charges against him." Hird's refusal to agree to a ban of any longer than six months for admitting to a legally redefined and more marginal role in the Essendon supplements scandal "was believed to be one of the impediments to sealing a plea bargain deal ahead of the commission hearing" (THE AGE, 8/26).
NRL WILL WAIT: In Sydney, Brad Walter wrote National Rugby League officials have rejected calls to banish Cronulla from the upcoming finals series "and will deal with any fallout from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigation after the season is over." However, former AFL Deputy Adrian Anderson believes the NRL should use an internal Sharks report prepared by former ASADA Deputy Chair Trish Kavanagh "that detailed the use of JVC-1295 and GHRP-6 by players in 2011 as evidence to suspend the club from the play-offs." Anderson told the ABC's "Offsiders" program on Sunday, "They have an internal report that confirms two blatantly performance-enhancing banned drugs were administered to players" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 8/26).