Essendon writes personal apology to Nathan Lovett-Murray for pain caused by AFL drugs saga
Michael Warner, Herald Sun
October 31, 2017 7:05pm
ESSENDON drugs saga victim Nathan Lovett-Murray has received a formal apology for his pain and suffering.
The “unreserved” apology — delivered by Bombers president Lindsay Tanner at the club’s Tullamarine headquarters on Tuesday — was a condition of the compensation settlement struck between Lovett-Murray and the club last month.
The former Bombers defender plans to return to the club in the coming weeks to perform a traditional indigenous smoking ceremony aimed at cleansing Essendon of bad spirits.
The apology was witnessed by Lovett-Murray’s father, Gary, his manager Peter Jess and Bombers chief executive Xavier Campbell.
Lovett-Murray’s compensation settlement was one of the last negotiated by the 34 Essendon players caught up in the long-running scandal.
In a statement handed to Lovett-Murray yesterday, Tanner admitted the Essendon supplements program had been a “mistake of the highest magnitude”.
“As chairman … I am writing to provide you with an unreserved apology on behalf of the club for its failings with respect to the 2012 supplements program and the consequences this has had for you and the family,” Tanner wrote.
“It is unacceptable that the club cannot advise with certainty the supplements you were given and that you and your family had to endure such a significant period of uncertainty with respect to the ASADA investigation and subsequent legal matters.
“It is unfair that you were subject to an adverse finding by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and had to suffer a year’s suspension from the game you love.
“The supplements program was a mistake of the highest magnitude.
“As a club, we should have had more robust systems in place to ensure the protection of our players. We are determined to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again at our club and have taken a number of steps since early 2013 to make sure that this is the case.
“As a valued past player, I hope that, despite all that you have had to endure, you will accept this apology and will feel ready to return to the club in some capacity in the near future.”
Jess said on Tuesday night: “The club should be congratulated for taking this very positive step in the overall healing process for the players, their families and the Essendon Football Club community at large.”
Lovett-Murray played 145 games for the Dons between 2004-13.
An Essendon spokesman told the Herald Sun: “It is absolutely appropriate that the club has personally apologised to Nathan as well as all players impacted by this matter. We sincerely hope this helps bring further closure for the players and their families.”