Bombers Could Lose Competition Points

The Australian Football League (AFL) has left open the possibility that third-placed Essendon with a 10-3 record in 2013 may be stripped of premiership points over the supplements scandal.

The AFL will consider various options if the Bombers are found guilty following the completion of the anti-doping investigation by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), said AFL general manager of football operations Mark Evans. When asked if Essendon could lose premiership points, Evans said it is certainly within the scope of the (AFL) Commission to do that, but it will be a Commission decision once it has been tabled.

The internal investigation of Essendon has already described what was going on at the AFL club in the year 2012 as a pharmacologically experimental environment never adequately controlled or challenged. The problems of the team were increased when Essendon Captain Jobe Watson said he believes he was administered AOD-9604 in 2012, saying it was cleared for his use by club medical staff.

The first casualty for the club was Essendon chief executive Ian Robson who rendered his resignation as the fallout from the club’s supplement scandal grows. Robson remarked we now know a lot happened at this club in 2012 that just should not have happened and we let down our players and their families. He also said he is accountable as the CEO and accept his accountability.

This was after an internal investigation by former Telstra boss Ziggy Switkowski was critical of the governance failures of Essendon. Bombers recently released the findings from the Switkowski report that said the use of exotic supplements, frequency of injections, and marginalization of traditional medical staff created a disturbing picture of a pharmacologically experimental environment never adequately controlled or challenged or documented within the club. Though the report did not call for sackings but said the CEO was responsible for overseeing all club matters.

In March this year, the Herald Sun revealed that Essendon players were urged to have up to 40 injections each last season. The team’s coach James Hird was accused by Stephen Danks, who was running the team’s sports science program in 2002, of taking drugs banned for players. The Herald Sun also revealed that Danks ordered another banned substance, Thymosin Beta 4 CJC-1295, from biochemist Shane Charter while working at Essendon but it is not known if the drug was administered to players.

The Essendon Football Club, nicknamed The Bombers, was formed in 1871 as a junior club and as a senior club in 1873. This Australian rules football club which plays in the Australian Football League (AFL) has won 16 Victorian Football league/AFL premierships which, along with Carlton, is the most of any club in the AFL. Today, the Essendon Football Club’s leadership group consists of Jobe Watson (Captain), David Hille (Vice-Captain), Heath Hocking, Brent Stanton, Michael Hurley, David Zaharakis, Brendan Goddard, Dyson Heppell, and Jason Winderlich. The club’s mascot is named Skeeta Reynolds (a mosquito), named after Dick Reynolds. The team mascot was created in honor of the team’s back-to-back Premierships side in the 1920s known as the Mosquito Fleet.

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