ASADA Case Against Australian Football League Side Essendon At Risk Of Collapse
The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority’s case against Australian Football League Side Essendon footballers "appears certain to collapse if its investigators cannot use transcripts from player interviews conducted last year," according to Chip Le Grand of THE AUSTRALIAN. There "are two key pieces of evidence common to every current and former Essendon player accused of taking a banned peptide during the 2012 season: all 34 signed consent forms to be administered with a Thymosin peptide and all told ASADA in their interviews they received injections as part of the supplement regime." The status of the interview transcripts "will be decided by Federal Court judge John Middleton when he rules on the legality of ASADA and the AFL’s joint investigation into the Essendon supplements regime." Essendon and coach James Hird have asked "the court to declare ASADA acted unlawfully." They asked the judge "to prevent ASADA from using any evidence gathered through the joint investigation, including transcripts of player interviews." The testimony "is considered crucial evidence by ASADA, which has built a highly circumstantial case otherwise" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/28). In Sydney, Jon Pierik reported documents released by the Federal Court "have reinforced the AFL's determination" to use the interim ASADA report to punish Essendon over its supplements program. The Bombers and Hird have argued that the AFL improperly used the report "to hand down the harshest penalties for governance breaches in league history." The report was given to the AFL on Aug. 2, 2013, but former ASADA CEO Aurora Andruska said she became "increasingly concerned" it was to be used by the AFL for other purposes (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 8/27).