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


On a different matter in a Senate Committee today, Cameron and Hinch are going hard at Cash for claiming public interest immunity. How do they feel about a Senate Committee justifying non release of a document on the grounds that public interest is irrelevant?


It will take a very brave and determined group or person to do it. That’s why we have to keep chipping away at it. It is NOT just about our players and club now. It is about every athlete competing under the WADA code.


Also, on the briefing assertions that ASADA acted independently, how is it that the special appropriation to ASADA ( presumably including the gift to WADA) had to go through the Minister for Finance as a Minister to Minister request. It’s all there in an ASADA annual report.


Stabby: MSM , including Gareth Hutchens of the Guardian are having a laugh at the Coalition granting Cash public interest immunity. How do those journos feel about a Committee saying that public interest is irrelevant in turning down an FOI request?


Thank you for staying angry, @bigallan !


It’s the J34 who put the money where their mouth is. I donated a modest sum to their recent symposium but I imagine a lot of their own money went into it, including venue hire and technology.


Glad I could attend and contribute to the symposium! Maintain the rage


Marjolaine Viret, Swiss sports lawyer, in Melbourne to talk to integrity/legal experts of sports codes about the CAS/ Swiss Federal Tribunal ramifications of the Essendon case.
Good luck to her in tracking down an AFL Integrity expert.


Oh dear. This is what the beginning of the end of democracy look like:

“With six hours scheduled for Friday’s hearing, the first hour was wasted after Cash made a claim of public interest immunity, which the committee – comprising a majority of Coalition senators – granted her”

Tell your children in stories around the campfire in year to come.
This is where it started.


ABC reporters Dan Conifer and Michael McKinnon are trumpeting an FOI win in regard to documents of the Assistant Health Minister Gillespie, following a ruling by the Information Commissioner against PM&C.
McKinnon, the ABC FOI editor, was at one time the Aystralian FOI editor and took his battles to the High Court.
He may have an interest in Stabby and cos battles particularly in the context of public interest.


The judge in the US Government fraud case against Lance Armstrong has ruled that Armstrong can run with a defence claim that everyone was doping. I suppose that would be run on the basis that it was a level playing field, that the USG knew this and continued to sponsor him and others and why is the USG only pursuing him. Could also be used in regard to the complicity of sport authorities in covering up doping evidence.


Well, how about this found on an accidental interweb search?

Blitz first.

CAS doc

WADA -v- Thomas Bellchambers et al ?


Thanks Stabby
A couple of initial thoughts:

  1. Did CAS try the players as a job lot because they started from the premise they were guilty and it just made it quicker and easier to do so?
  2. Were the lawyers who were paid to represent the players in fact representing them or did they take their riding instructions from the AFL and Essendon? If they were really representing the players why didn’t they challenge the de novo retrial in the Supreme Court and also why didn’t they, once the CAS decision was handed down advise the players to take out an injunction in the Supreme Court to prevent the AFL banning the players for the 2016 season. After all, the CAS decision would not stand up in the Australian courts and the penalty was unconscionable if Australian legal principles were applied. In essence I have grave doubts the lawyers acted in the players’ interests.


Throughout the Saga, I expressed grave doubts about the lawyers supposedly representing the players, saying that they would be paid by the AFL and act to get the best outcome for the AFL. I was assured by our legal brethren on BB that lawyers would act in the best interests of the people they were representing not in those paying the bills.

As you point out, that is not what happened. So either their lawyers were incompetent or not acting in the best interests of the players.

Or both.


I can’t claim expertise, but there are international conventions on the recognition of foreign arbitral awards and IIRC there has been at least one Supreme Court ruling (NSW) to the effect that it would not intervene to examine an arbitration award.
There might also be clauses linked to the player contracts and the AFL Code to the effect that the Swiss processes are final and exhaust all other legal avenues.
Any uncertainty in this regard could be easily cured by clauses in their contracts / Code that nothing in the AFL Code affects their rights under Australian law.
The AFLPA should be on top of these issues, as should the Australian Athletes Alliance ( peak athlete body)


Lawyers could not have taken “riding instructions” from Essendon:

  1. The players’ lawyers did not take up the EFC’s advice on who should represent them.
  2. The EFC was not a party to either the initial ASADA case or the WADA re-trial.

However, the AFL is an entirely different matter.

Basically, WADA was always going to find the players guilty because it wants to lower the burden of proof in cases where there is no positive sample - the players’ lawyers naively walked into this and the players did not seem prepared for the way that, at times, the WADA panel was not even paying attention to their answers.


Page 9 Para 64

"the witness statements/reports of interviews of Dean Robinson,
Shane Charter, Nimi Alvia, Vincent Xu, and Stephen Dank were admitted to the file and if
and insofar as WADA did not intend to call such persons at the hearing, the weight afforded
to their evidence would be a matter for determination by the Panel; "

I recall these statements/reports were unsigned and therefore not verified.
Charters said: " They [ASADA] investigators have come back to me recently wanting to insert things into my statement," so, I wonder which statement was admitted to CAS?


But the EFC contributed to the cost of the lawyers. The club was not a party yes, but who pays the piper chooses the tune. Remember too the lawyers weren’t acting under Australian law but a non-government, foreign agency’s rules.


page 13 para 83

uh oh WADA relieved itself all over the players defence

"In its Appeal Brief, WADA made the following requests for relief:

“WADA requests the CAS Panel, pursuant to Article R57, issue a new decision finding that the evidence
is sufficient to conclude each Respondent used a prohibited substance, Thymosin Beta-4, in violation of the
AFL Code, and impose an appropriate sanction on each Respondent, with Respondents to bear the costs and
other expenses related to the arbitration"


page 14 para 85

Players lawyers attempt to put up a good fight, saying doc are bogus

" Certain documents upon which WADA relies are either incomplete, misconstrued and/or falsified and/or their provenance is uncertain;"