Bombers Launch Review After Scandal

An independent review of Essendon’s governance and processes has been announced after revelations last month that the club is involved in a doping investigation. This review will be led by former Telstra chief executive Dr Ziggy Switkowski who will draw on the assistance of Dr Andrew Garnham, a specialist sports physician with particular expertise in sports nutrition.

The review comes three weeks after Essendon asked for assistance from the Australian Football League (AFL) and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) in reviewing the 2012 supplements program of the club. The board is now aware of “irregular practices” at the club, Bombers chairman David Evans said who also added he could not elaborate on what has been uncovered. The team chairman also revealed that there was no timeline set for the review, but he expects it to be completed before the ASADA investigation.

The investigation will look into unnamed supplements that the club gave to players after it was revealed that Essendon players took substances that are banned under the World Anti-Doping Agency code. This review will also be investigating practices in other clubs and other sports to measure the actions and processes of Essendon against best practice and added that members of the club deserve to know what happened, and to have faith the club will take responsibility to fix any problems and added he expects findings of the review to be made public.

Evans further remarked it is difficult for him to reveal anything as there is an investigation going on which he does not want to compromise the integrity of that investigation or compromise the review he just announced. However, the Bombers chairman said no player has tested positive for any performance enhancing substance and the review will start with the governance of the club, from the board level down.

Recently, players of the club met with Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency (ASADA) representatives to be told about the next stage of an investigation that is expected to take months. Evans remarked the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency outlined the process for the investigation to continue, including interviews with players to determine if a prohibited substance had been administered. The team has also been named in an Australian Crime Commission (ACC) investigation that found the suspected use of performance enhancing drugs by their players, possibly without their knowledge.

Essendon midfielder Brent Stanton said there are still reasons for optimism that the club will not face the same sort of fallout that has enveloped NRL club Cronulla over an investigation about doping.

In another development, the parents of Essendon players with club officials at the Bombers’ Windy Hills headquarters to seek information as well as assurances in the wake of the performance enhancing drug scandal. Meanwhile, former Bombers sports scientist Stephen Dank said he did not administer any banned substances to players during his time with the club. Three-time premiership winner Tim Watson, father of Brownlow medalist and the current Bombers captain Jobe, said we are very satisfied that our boys are in good hands and the club is doing all they possibly can under the circumstances to clear their names.

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