Interviews to be conducted regarding allegations the Bombers coach was injected.
Essendon Bombers coach James Hird will face drugs investigators today regarding claims aimed at the club, its players and himself.
Within the last week, the AFL and Essendon have been rocked by allegations by sports scientist Stephen Dank that he injected the Bombers coach with the performance-enhancing drug Hexarelin, which was banned for players since 2004.
Text messages between Hird and Dank also allegedly reveal the Essendon leader knew of the extensive and illegal supplement program going on at the club.
Hird has maintained his innocence and said he could not wait for a chance to clear his name.
“These claims are horrifying to me, and are being made by a person or people who appear determined to destroy my reputation,” Hird said at the time the allegations surfaced.
“I have at all times fully adhered to, and promoted the WADA code and the AFL rules, and the code of ethics of the Essendon Football Club. I would never do anything to put the players of the Essendon Football Club or the club at risk. As I said in February, I am shocked our club is facing this situation.”
Former ASADA chief Richard Ings described part of the process facing Hird.
“In the infraction notice (from the AFL), it will say ASADA has told the AFL that you have a case to answer for breaching these provisions of the anti-doping rules; the penalty for this breach is a ban, or whatever — two years, say; you have an opportunity now to either accept the ban, or to request a hearing before the AFL anti-doping panel,” Ings said.
“The hearing, the tribunal, is held by the AFL.
“ASADA would be the counsel prosecuting the case, because they’ve got the evidence, and the player and his attorney would be the defence.”
When Hird fronts the ASADA investigators he will not be under oath, however, under AFL guidelines he will have to fully co-operate, truthfully answer all questions and produce documentation if requested.
If players or coaches do not abide by these three rules then a minimum $10,000 fine may be imposed or if referred to the AFL Tribunal by the League, there is no limit to a sanction that can be applied.