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


ASADA probably had solid evidence that Dank and Robinson were dealing WADA specified banned drugs to a number of NRL and AFL ( and other sport) clubs and there was an assumption that EFC players were being dealt the same drugs
Prior to release of the ACC report ( on which Demetriou was briefed) there were rumours that an AFL club was suspect.
Demetriou led Evans to believe that EFC was the club, when in all likelihood it was GCS.
That Evans press conference did us in and ASADA went along with the Demetriou deception, knowing that there was no evidence of WADA banned drugs ( indeed, as demonstrated by testing) at EFC. But by that stage ASADA/AFL/WADA had invested too much politically into the issue, they were forced to pursue the EFC on TB4 and to scapegoat Hird Thompson and Corcoran.
And, additionally , through EFC mismanagement, plus government money channelled through ASADA to WADA, the club and many innocent people were stitched up, with irreparable damage.
It may not be financial corruption, but it was certainly a corrupt process which allowed for corruption at the level of government, the AFL and WADA.


Is there a big writeup somewhere I can read to fully understand the saga front to end?


AFL man through and through… No doubt he will have been rewarded handsomely for his loyalty.


“A big writeup somewhere” would be akin to the 8 seasons of Game of Thrones (without the dragons)


It would include two seriously wicked witches, and an army of minions.


Plenty of snakes though


Chip Le Grand’s ‘The Straight Dope’ would be a start. It’s not comprehensive, but there’s a significant amount of info there in the one spot, and it’s not a bad read either.


It is very good, but… just be prepared for it not to make many comparisons with other clubs of the time (or earlier). ‘Cause none of them were stupid enough to admit they were doing similarly weird crap and had similarly cowboy approaches.

Context matters.


Have to pull you up on that one, DJR.

Many clubs were doing far worse than we had attempted to do. (And even then we did not do anything against the rules, let alone the law). Those clubs who actually won flags were engaged in PED use of some kind. Geelong and Hawthorn even had laudatory articles in the papers about it. And of course WCE players were widely known to be taking illegal drugs because it made them play - in their own words - “as if we were bullet-proof”.


Ah, m’m, yes, yes, cocaine.


The suspension of the E34 rests with McLachlan - a failed negotiator who was unable to deliver on his undertaking to save the players if Hird and co fell on their swords.
And, if the AFL had not volunteered to ASADA to use AFL cumpulsory powers to question the players, none of this would have have happened.
After this debacle and failure of governance, the AFL conducts an internal review, released publicly in the form of a media-type release. About all that changed was that the lawyers (Dillon) were given more responsibility to manage such issues.
And where were the Commisioners in all this with their voting powers, the clubs with their residual voting powers - a dereliction of their duties.
Fitzpatrick, Demetriou and Clothier have gone, along with a handful of Commissioners. But the basic structure of the AFL remains intact, despite the AFL abuse of power and its duty to the players as a joint employer.
If the ALP gets in it should conduct a review of the major sports bodies and do something about containing their powers over the lives of players and staff.


Yes whole heartedly agree but do you think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell, it will happen?


The ALP set the whole thing up as a diversion to try and save Gillard from Rudd.

They are the last ones who will want to investigate the history of the saga.


It could be put in the context of the right to work and unfair dismissal (express or implied) together with a review of the current corporate laws applying to sporting bodies now they have gone beyond a regulatory role, with their prime focus on generating revenue across all aspects of the game ( including game rules they don’t enforce).
Workplace rights are particularly important for athletes, given the relatively short span in which to practise their trade.
Jackson Taylor could make a specialist contribution on such matters. It could not undo what has happened, but there would be vindication and bring transparency to the secret state of the AFL.
And, how is that Dean Robinson was able to achieve a settlement from Essendon under apparent unfair dismissal laws, when he broke so many of the directions he was working under at the EFC? No protection under the law for some other EFC personnel ( while the AFL hands out its largesse to the likes of Goodwin and Hamilton at the same time as ruining the careers of others),


Most of the history occurred under the LNP government, with Dutton setting the ASADA processes in train
The Gillard agovernment beat up the ACC report as a diversion and was involved in the early days, but I would see a review as not focussing primarily on the saga as compared to an example ( along with more recent NRL actions) of the legally sanctioned powers of the two Codes . Gillard and Lundy have gone and only Clare is left ( he played a very minor role) .
The Australian Law Reform Commission could also play a role. I unsuccessfully tried to engage it a long time ago on the relationship between the laws governing those employed in the sporting arena compared to the rights of other employees.


Ultimately both major parties interfered in the process, hence why neither would support a Senate enquiry or the like.


Andrew Leigh is keen to review the AIS. I am seeing him Thursday night, i will try and engage him.


I guess that, as an ACT MP his priority would be sorting out the AIS mess, but he might be interested in the imbalance in the legal rights of athlete employee rights compared to those in the general workforce, compounded by the absence of proper unions to represent them. For instance the AFLPA is largely funded by the employer AFL and a position in the AFLPA is often seen as a stepping stone to a career in the AFL.
Under some contracts, athletes are forced to forego their rights under the domestic legal system. Over the years, there has been further erosion of those rights with the emergence of WADA, government leave of pass ( through the UNESCO treaty) to the powers of private international bodies such as WADA and CAS beyond the reach of Australian law ( and which is largely ignored by JSCOT as WADA extends its powers).
The structural imbalance in athlete rights is compounded by the extension of powers by sporting bodies, which, notwithstanding their financial powers and control of athletes lives, enjoy the same corporate status as charities, - without being subject to the scrutiny over charities by the ROC.




Maybe we should ask Julian Burnside to follow up on these documents if he gets elected?

" Back on 2 May 2016, the Senate moved the motion that a representative for the Minister for Sport (Senator Nash) supply by Friday, 6 May 2016, a copy of the following documents to the Senate:

(a) the final report by ASADA investigator, Mr Aaron Walker, into the Essendon Football Club’s 2012 player supplements program;

(b) the independent review of Operation Cobia, conducted by former judge of the Federal Court of Australia Mr Garry Downes;

© the report of the independent review of ASADA, commissioned by the former Minister for Sport Ms Ellis;

(d) the full decision of the Australian Football League (AFL) Anti-Doping Tribunal, signed by chairman Mr David Jones, Mr John Nixon and Mr Wayne Henwood which cleared 34 Essendon footballers;

(e) the report to ASADA management by ASADA investigators reportedly detailed a strong case against Gold Coast Suns footballer Mr Nathan Bock and high performance manager Mr Dean Robinson over the use of banned peptide CJC–1295;

(f) all documentation of ASADA, the Minister or her department that relates to ASADA’s subsequent decision not to pursue anti-doping rule violations against Mr Bock and Mr Robinson

(g) all documentation of ASADA, the Minister or her department that relates to ASADA’s decision to reopen its investigation into former AFL footballer, Mr Bock.

The government failed to comply with this motion."