Bombers’ leader issues a statement after meeting with anti-drugs body.
Essendon coach James Hird said he will not break the confidentiality agreement between himself and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority after giving evidence on Tuesday.
Hird was called in to answer questions regarding the supplement program undertaken by the Bombers during the time sports scientist Stephan Dank was employed by the club.
It is expected Hird would also been asked of Dank’s allegations he injected the coach with a performance enhancing drug, that is not illegal for players, and also the timing of Dank’s depature from the club.
Hird issued a statement regarding the meeting.
“Today I attended an interview with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and the AFL Integrity Officers,” Hird said.
“At the interview I fully co-operated and truthfully answered every question that was put to me by the investigators.
“I will not do anything to impede the ASADA and AFL investigation and will continue to co-operate fully.
“This includes maintaining the confidentiality of the interview. This is incumbent upon all parties present at the ASADA and AFL investigation so as to not pollute the process.
“I welcomed the opportunity to tell the truth today.”
Hird was not under oath during the examination but by AFL rules was meant to answer every question truthfully and produce any documentation if requested.
Failing to do that could have cost Hird and the club at least a $10,000, with punishments possibly growing exponentially.
The interview was just the latest step in ASADA’s probe into performance enhancing drugs in all football codes in Australia.
However, Essendon again became a focal point of discussion when last week text messages allegedly revealed that Hird knew more of the illegal nature of the club’s supplement program run by Dank and that the coach himself had been injected with Hexarelin.
Despite pressure from AFL boss Andrew Demetriou that Hird should reconsider his position as coach of Essendon, the former star player said he would not be stepping down as coach, and led his side a spirited fightback against Fremantle last round.
This weekend they tackle St Kilda at Etihad Stadium, as the Bombers look to take their record to four wins from as many games.