AFL Essendon Chairman Maintains Innocence, Hits Out At Anti-Doping Agency Boss
Australian Football League club Essendon Chair Paul Little "remains confident the club's players have not consumed any illegal, performance-enhancing or harmful substances," according to Emma Quayle of THE AGE. Little has also "hit out" at World Anti-Doping Agency President John Fahey "for making 'unfounded and unsettling allegations' that charges were imminent." Little told supporters at Monday night's annual meeting that the Bombers "were looking forward to welcoming back suspended coach James Hird when his 12-month suspension expired at the end of August." Little also confirmed the club would pay Hird's A$750,000 ($672,000) base salary for '14 by the end of this year, "as a result of negotiations with the AFL last week." He said that the club "was close to appointing a new chief executive and implementing a new executive structure that would include a chief operating officer, a general manager of human resources and a compliance manager" (THE AGE, 12/17).
NRL SAGA DRAGS ON: In Melbourne, Adrian Proszenko reported Advanced Sports Nutrition employee Darren Hibbert "could be fighting a fresh legal battle after he was stood down by his long-term employer." The man dubbed ''the Gazelle'' awoke on Monday "to find his work phone was disconnected after the supplements supplier had sacked him without notice." Hibbert, "considered a central figure" in the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's investigations into the National Rugby League supplements saga, "immediately contacted his legal team regarding unfair dismissal proceedings." The move "prompted a backflip of sorts later," when Advanced Sports Nutrition Founder and Dir Peter Memete told Hibbert his contract was ''on hold'' and would be reviewed in a fortnight (THE AGE, 12/17).