Sorry Saga - “It’s actually quite funny people thinking they know more than they actually do”


That may all be true and Grace may have been familiar with CAS and its workings, at the end of the day, all their experience didn’t help the players case. They were out smarted and out played by ASADA and WADA. The big fish here of Australia’s best legal minds, got it wrong, when it came to this case and CAS. And; for the players, there were no second chances. Their legal teams go on to fight in court another day, not so for the players, they wear it.

Like it or not, fair or not, the players were used by ASADA and WADA to create a precedent, that was the goal and that was what happened. Make me feel good, I don’t think so.


The AFL anti doping rules (i.e. De Novo) were changed after the AFL Tribunal hearing, but before the judgement.
I am absolutely dumbfounded that anybody would think this is fair.

Then, they disqualify the most experienced lawyer the players had, but this same rule doesn’t seem to apply to the prosecution or panelists.

Then, the prosecution selects two of the three panelists.

Then, the panelists state the preferred starting point was the players had taken the PEDS, so prove your innocence. Do you think any of the players had ever considered they would have to prove they did NOT take a PED during the 2012 season?


Let’s not pretend that this decision was anything but a predetermined outcome. The CAS panel had the power to find any decision they wished, and the players had no recourse to argue that the decision was fundamentally wrong at law. They could have found the players guilty of sniffing cocaine on match day, using steroids and injecting every banned substance on the banned substance list and regardless of the fact there would be no evidence of said use, the players could not contest that finding. The only thing they can contest is the process and that is heavily rigged in favour of WADA/CAS as well with the Swiss Courts unwilling to ■■■■ off a cash cow. It mattered not a wit whether the players lawyers were competent or not, you can’t win when you take a knife to a nuke fight. WADA needed this outcome to set precedent for future non-analytical cases. The true irony is that CAS are not required to follow precedent and can effectively decide whatever they want whenever they want, regardless of the results of any other case they have arbitrated (read in support of whoever has the deepest pockets, and note that in our case we are a one off, in WADA’s case it is ongoing business.)


It’s arseholes like him and that Narev (CBA prick) that give CEO/Management types the reputation they have.


It’s the 95% of them that give the rest a bad name.


The legal system isn’t fair and it was never set up to be fair. It depends on whether you have the means then it
becomes fairer, if you can afford to get the best silk you possibly can. Then one has a better chance of receiving “a fair go”

Even then, it doesn’t mean Justice will prevail because being just, receiving justice and law are three separate entities, often not working co-operatively together. What ASADA, WADA and CAS did was show many people just how much inequality there is in the Law and that Justice is often not just at all. Had this not happened to the Essendon 34, many people would be none the wiser as to how the system can work. Having worked in the Department of Justice, I know there is no changing the system but you can if you have the right connections sometimes; there are ways of making it easier to work within the system…


Fact Checking ASADA. Snippet # 5

This is the 5th in a series of video releases which Fact Check statements made by ASADA whilst at Senate Estimates in March 2016. We trust these videos will allow you to support our request for a Parliamentary inquiry into Sports Anti-Doping in Australia.

For nearly a year, Justice for the 34 has been calling for a Senate inquiry into sports anti-doping. Justice for the 34’s call for an inquiry emerged from the injustice of the Essendon supplements saga; but the issue has wider generality. There are international concerns with the evidentiary standards and consistency of the anti-doping framework. Both the US Congress and UK Parliament have initiated inquiries into anti-doping; yet despite having had one of the most significant anti-doping problems in world sport Australia has had no parliamentary inquiry. An inquiry is in the interest of future generations of athletes. An inquiry can lay the foundation for a transparent and accountable anti-doping regulatory framework.

Three recent events have shown why a parliamentary inquiry is needed.

First, in 2014 the AFL foreshadowed an internal review of the Essendon saga. More than two years later the review was tabled. The review was only eight pages long; no authors were cited, no sources given and no evidence presented. The AFL exonerated itself without referencing the sacrifice of the athletes who lost their right to protection against self-incrimination, their right of appeal and their right to a fair trial. The AFL protected its image while sacrificing the rights of others.

Secondly in March, a report by a retired Supreme Court judge into drug use by the West Coast Eagles was leaked to the media. The Gillard report was another internal AFL review; but in contrast to the Essendon review this one was 83-pages long; there were named sources and there was evidence of poor culture and governance; yet the AFL suppressed it for ten years and there were no governance penalties. The AFL chose to protect its image rather than to penalise wrongdoing. In two internal reviews ten years apart, the AFL has shown how they conduct anti-doping investigations. The AFL has protected its reputation at the expense of the rights and wrongs of athletes.

More recently, as the Herald Sun (April 4) has reported, the AFL has decided to sit down with ASADA to investigate establishing an independent sports tribunal to rule on anti-doping matters. The emphasis of this proposal is independence; independence from the AFL and from ASADA. Currently the AFL is the only one of Australia’s 94 sports with its own anti-doping body. The proposal highlights the abject failure of the Australian anti-doping regulatory framework. The two bodies that were responsible for the flawed investigation and prosecution of the Essendon case, the two bodies that subordinated athletes’ rights to protect their own reputations, are the bodies now proposing a separate independent agency. They are recognising their failure without taking responsibility for that failure.

The investigation of the 2012 Essendon supplements program by ASADA was one of the most significant anti-doping cases in world sport with more anomalies than any other case. It impacted on Australia’s leading sporting code for four years; there were breaches of confidentiality, breaches of athletes’ rights, breaches of regulatory standards, and serious questions as to the quasi-judicial process. ASADA did not appear to apply a consistent set of regulatory standards which would have allowed athletes to prove their innocence.

The ASADA Act of 2006 and the administration of that Act needs review not by ASADA or WADA, not jointly with the AFL and not by the Department of Health; the ASADA Act and its administration needs to be reviewed by the Parliament that enabled it. When the ASADA Act was passed, the Parliament could not have anticipated a problem such as the Essendon matter. The ASADA Act was designed for individual athletes competing internationally, not athletes competing in indigenous team sports. In the Essendon case, the players were penalised as a group, regardless of their level of participation in the supplements program; or the individual evidence against them. There is a need to examine the ASADA Act and its implications for team sports. There is also a need for the ASADA Act to be reviewed to consider the rights of the athletes of all 94 sporting codes. And there is a need to review the ASADA Act to examine the accountability of ASADA.

In no other country has anti-doping been discussed so often by so many. The case for a wide ranging and forward looking anti-doping inquiry is more compelling in Australia than in any other country. Justice for the 34 renews its call for a Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Doping with wide terms of reference which allows all sporting bodies, all athletes and all interested parties to make representations.

It is in the national interest.

If you have already supported this petition, take some further positive action by sending an email to the decision makers. It takes just one click or you can create your own email - go here to take positive action:

For sharing this Update, use the icon links at the bottom of this page.

For sharing the Original Petition, please use the icon links on the RHS of webpage.

For further information, contact Justice of the 34 via their Facebook page.

Thank you for your support and patience.


Ha ha! This was on the Governor, twitlonger:

Is there no limit to the AFL’s desire to control the media? Isn’t there anyone in the media who won’t cower to the AFL?

During his unpaid weekly advertisement on 3AW on 18 August 2017, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan told Neil Mitchell that taking accreditation away from AFL journalists “was quite a good idea”. To his credit, Mitchell said it was a “Stalinist” idea. But that was about as indignant that Mitchell and a couple of other journalists felt. A love tap was as offended a response from the ■■■■■■■ in the media.

I expected Caroline Wilson and Mark Robinson to report the outcomes of Greg Hywood and Peter Blunden’s fiery meetings with Richard Goyder. But no, it appears that Hywood and Blunden are still in their underground bunkers where they have been for the last four years as their journalists trashed the media’s reputation over the ASADA/AFL scandal

To be honest, if you guys want to take it lying down then that’s your problem. I have done your work for you over the last four years. If you want to wallow in self-pity now over your lack of intestinal fortitude, so be it.

What I am concerned about is McLachlan’s hypocrisy and double-standards. Sorry, “standards”, my first oxymoron for the day.

McLachlan is a LAW unto himself and had made a ROD for his ownback.

Eddie’s Friday night little puppy, Jon Ralph, reported McLachlan’s comments to Mitchell as follows:

“I think there is responsibility everywhere. Our players, coaches, officials, everyone [BUT ME] is held incredibly accountable every day but we are talking about people’s livelihoods and careers and this allegation talks to integrity.

My Comment:

McLachlan helped destroy James Hird’s livelihood, career and reputation, despite knowing that as joint employers, the AFL Commission and the Essendon board had more responsibility for the players’ health and safety than Hird. According to my understanding of the Victorian Occupational, Health and Safety Act (2004), at least 30 people, including the current Governor of Victoria, Linda Dessau, and the current chairman of the AFL, Richard Goyder, had more responsibility for providing a safe work place at Essendon than Hird. But none had the guts to own up. What miserable human beings they are.

As Hird was on a separate branch of the organisation structure from the football department, where general manager football operations Paul Hamilton insisted the supplement programme was run, McLachlan had no evidence to prove Hird was guilty of anything. But he insisted that Hird plead guilty and accept a 12-month ban because of the” “optics” and because AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon believed the scandal ”needs a face”.

Starving people were sent to Australia with the First Fleet for stealing a loaf of bread. But McLachlan potentially contributed to Hird nearly taking his own life, and he wants to talk integrity. Give me a break.

On 9 February 2013, four days before the corrupted AFL/ASADA joint investigation commenced, McLachlan told ASADA, the Gillard Government and Essendon board the result he wanted from the upcoming AFL/ASADA investigation. McLachlan said “Come to arrangement. Players found to be innocent. This is the outcome [I require]. Sanctions against Essendon. [Essendon FC] held responsible. Hold individuals [Hird] responsible.” ASADA delivered on 1 August 2013 and McLachlan delivered his pre-determined result before that.

McLachlan’s response was arguably tantamount to match-fixing. Three Pakistani cricketers, including a 19-year-old, went to gaol for conspiring to bowl three deliberate no-balls at a precise time. Who deserved the biggest penalty, the Pakis or Teflon McLachlan for denying Hird, Danny Corcoran and Mark Thompson procedural fairness?

McLachlan’s demand that the players be found innocent before the investigation was a flagrant breach of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC). How ironical and how unjust. The then AFL deputy chief executive conspired with the government, ASADA and the Essendon board to break the WADA Code by finding the players innocent, and at the same time hold James Hird accountable, despite Hird emphasising verbally and in writing that the players had to comply with the WADA Code. A rule breaker sends a rule complier to Coventry. Not much integrity in that decision!

McLachlan not only told the jury, the AFL commissioners, that Hird and Essendon were guilty before the investigation was completed but told them what the penalties would be. Such misconduct, enabled the AFL to arguably defraud Essendon members of $2 million.

McLachlan: “If someone is making something up that has such significant ramifications, there has to be an accountability for that. “It is not an opinion, it is making something up that is completely wrong and is something which I would say is a complete lie.”

My Comment:

The record indicates that McLachlan knows what a lie is.

On Friday 24 February 2017, McLachlan told SEN radio “In terms of actually being called someone who lies, the day that I lie to someone is the day I can’t do my job.”

In 2015, McLachlan was interviewed by Alan Jones on Radio 2GB. The following is a verbatim transcript of a part of that interview:

Alan Jones: “There have been many complaints that ASADA ran a corrupt investigation. There are have been allegations that ASADA changed evidence, fabricated evidence and omitted evidence. And even the AFL has been accused of getting its hands dirty. During Justice Middleton’s hearing it came to light that on 26th of June, 2013, that ASADA’s chief operating officer (sic) spoke to you and she told Middleton’s hearing that your comments were as follows: ‘Take points off Essendon, we need all the detail to get through that. Problematic if not [the] full report. Get the outcome we need. Take bits out that might compromise what we need.’ Is there any way of interpreting that other than saying it was inappropriate, bordering on corrupt?”

Gill McLachlan: “ … I can’t comment on anything other than to say it was a Federal Court Case brought in terms of the process and it was clearly found that the AFL, there has been no inappropriate interference of the way the AFL behaved and the investigation was entirely legal.

Alan Jones: “Hang on, you are a bright man and you come from a very honourable family, did you say to Andruska take bits out that might compromise what we need? There is a simple answer, yes or no.

Gill McLachlan: “Alan, the simple answer is no.”

My Comment:

McLachlan lied to Jones and thousands of listeners when he implied that Middleton cleared the AFL of interference. Middleton wasn’t asked to rule on AFL or ASADA interference or corruption.

McLachlan lied to Jones when he denied making the comments to Andruska

McLachlan lied when he implied he would resign if he lied.

The above were not the only McLachlan lies. The first lie in the saga was told by McLachlan and Demetriou on 5 February 2013, and it has been perpetuated ever since by them and the sycophantic media. They claim Essendon self-reported on 5 February 2013. It was impossible for Essendon to self-report on 5 February because the AFL and ASADA agreed to investigate Essendon on 1 February 2013. The lie by McLachlan and Demetriou appears to have been motivated by a desire to help David Evans in return for him batting for the AFL against Hird. I am stuffed if I know why the media perpetuated the lie. Clearly, it knows no shame.

Time nor space permits listing all the lies. You will have to buy the book. Hopefully, one more lie will suffice to motivate the media to force McLachlan to resign.

On 8 August 2013, the Herald Sun contained the following comments:

“AFL deputy chief executive Gillon McLachlan said this week he was unsure if there would be action … ‘Obviously, Andrew Dillon, the general counsel of the AFL and head of the integrity unit (another oxymoron) is considering the report, and first things first, [and will build the case] if there is any action to be taken.’”.

My Comment:

McLachlan told the Herald Sun reporters Jon Ralph and Carly Crawford (both of whom have blocked me for three years because they can’t handle the truth) and its 400,000 readers that he didn’t know the outcome of the investigation because Dillon was still considering the report and hadn’t even decided whether charges would be laid.

A tape recorded on 8 August 2013 and released in February 2017, proves McLachlan was lying. He was already bullying Hird and Paul Little to accept the penalties.

It bemuses me that McLachlan jumped in to support Eddie McGuire by attacking Brad Hardie. It’s a shame that he didn’t jump in to denounce a lie shared by Hardie about Hird’s private life. A lie I might add that was shared by Andrew Demetriou. I don’t know who started the lie, but I do know both repeated it. If I knew about Demetriou and the lie, McLachlan surely knew and should have spoken to at least Demetriou with the same enthusiasm as he attacked Hardie a couple of weeks ago about Collingwood.

In the scheme of things, if Hardie told a lie about Collingwood, it did no harm. In contrast to Demetriou’s lie about Hird and McLachlan’s lies and behaviour during the Essendon/AFL/ASADA saga, they did immeasurable damage to Hird and his family.

Although, most of you guys are aware of all of the above, none of you has written a word about it. In your shame, you have attacked the messenger. You all need to look in the mirror and acknowledge that you have contributed to the trashing of the profession. It’s not too late to seek redemption. Call for McLachlan’s resignation now.

Bruce Francis


Interesting fact.

Hurley has been said to have trained with Pig:

Hurley and Hibberd trained more often away from St Bernard’s than with the others, focusing on building their aerobic fitness rather than their power, but their connection with the others remained strong.

Ryder didn’t train with the Buttifant crew either.

Not a great reflection on Buttifant that out of all the 16 AFL players (this year) suspended last year for the saga, the three players who made All Australian were “more often” not a part of his program (or not at all).


ASADA are out of control. No one is safe.


What’s the relevance of posting a tweet from 29 months ago ?


Posting that tweet demonstrates the system is tilted against the athlete. ASADA has tax payer resources backing it. Amateur athletes having to stump up $10, 000 to defend themselves is a disgrace. If it was so in 2015 it probably is even more so in 2017.


Whichever it goes ASADA is a winner. Athletes cannot afford to defend. ASADA is doing a good job. Player defends and loses ASADA doing their job.


players i’ve spoken to said his methods were so dated and they were seeing there own specialists and what not outside the club. this was during his last year at fark carlton.


I recall McDevitt saying that one of ASADA’s problems with handling the Essendon case was that the Essendon players were so well resourced with lawyers. Which might explain why ASADA - with the support of the then
Minister for Sport - was able to get a special appropriation from the Minister for Finance to fund the CAS case.
Paul Dimeo from Stirling University is undertaking a study on the costs to athletes of defending an anti-doping charge


I remember there was something in the media earlier this year indicating that Buttifant was blaming his working with the banned Essendon players for not being able to get any work.

There might be more to it than that it would seem.


Yes I am sure McDevitt would have preferred athletes have no lawyers at all so he could threaten them into submission. Just like all those cops used to verbal suspects in the old days.


I will never forget, McIdiot on the ABC with wimpy, and he was absolutely threatening the players in a very passive aggressive manner. He was almost demanding someone come forward and roll over. Never, ever forget!


On the verge of an important finals game and some dude is suing us. Fark.


White noise. Let the admin take care of it.