James Hird and the Essendon AFL Club’s case against the the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority’s (ASADA) investigation into Essendon’s 2012 supplements program has been thrown out by the Federal Court.
“ASADA complied with the rule of law,” Justice John Middleton said in handing down his judgement dismissing Hird and the Club’s case.
In a further blow, he awarded costs against the club and its coach. Hird’s case is estimated to have personally cost him more than $500,000.
Essendon, former coach James Hird and 34 past and present players were involved in the investigation, which commenced on February 1, 2013.
Justice John Middleton said ASADA and the AFL had difference purposes, and that “no power of the state has been used by ASADA”.
Hird, who received a 12-month ban in the supplement scandal, had alleged ASADA had no jurisdiction to conduct an investigation, which was conducted jointly with the AFL. He argued the agency’s actions were unlawful and in clear breach of rules governing the anti-doping body.
Aurora Andruska, the former head of ASADA, who resigned from her post during the investigation was found to be a convincing, credible and truthful by Justice Middleton, despite the best efforts of Essendon’s legal team to discredit her during their, Federal Court challenge, which began on August 11.
Hird returned to Essendon in August and is set to take over as coach once more for the 2015 season.
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