The story I'll never see in the MSM, (with apologies to Matt Stewart of the Herald Sun 18th March 2017)
The AFL has been left with a huge legal bill after Essendon coach James Hird was cleared of orchestrating a supplement cheating regime.
It took less than five minutes for VCAT to put an end to four years of heartache and uncertainty for the coach when his appeal against career crippling disqualifications was upheld.
Hird had been suspended by the AFL for managing an illegal supplements program at the Essendon Football Club.
VCAT’s finding that the coach had not knowingly cheated was met with tears and gasps of relief from the coach’s family and anger from Hird.
The AFL Coaches Association has demanded a “full and independent review” of the AFL’s integrity in light of yesterday’s decision.
Hird said he had insisted his innocence from the start of the saga that had crippled the Essendon football club.
Hird said to stand here four years later and have VCAT affirm that I never had any intention of cheating or trying to break the rules of the AFL vindicates me and shows that I‘m completely innocent of all charges.
“And VCAT has thrown a light on the behaviour of the AFL, the breaches of the rules that they have in fact engineered throughout this process. And that’s probably been the most disappointing thing – the bullying and vilification of both myself and my family. Midway through this the AFL brought on charges and modified reports to try and punish and vilify me before any charges had been heard.”
Is a head trainer of horses comparable with the head coach of a football team? If a head trainer can unkowingly have his charges doped and be found to be not responsible can't the head coach of a football team be given the same regard?