The Federal Court has dismissed James Hird’s appeal against the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority’s investigation into Essendon’s 2012 supplements program.
Federal Court Justice Susan Kenny affirmed ASADA’s right to conduct joint investigations with the AFL, saying there was no “practical unfairness” involved in her decision, handed down this afternoon.
Last September Hird filed the case against ASADA, alleging the agency’s joint investigation with the AFL was unlawful and in clear breach of rules governing the anti-doping body, and called for all 34 show cause notices issued to Bombers players to be withdrawn.
“Upon becoming a player or official, Mr Hird and the 34 players voluntarily accepted the obligations… to attend interviews and answer questions fully and truthfully,” Justice Kenny said.
Hird has now been ordered by the Federal Court to pay all legal costs, and will have 28 days to lodge an appeal in the High Court.
The Anti-doping tribunal will now proceed with its hearings, with ASADA filing written February 5 and submissions from Essendon players due a week later.
Oral submissions will be heard on February 16 before the tribul adjourns to consider its decisions.
If anyone is found to have breached the code, a hearing will then be set to determine what sanctions will be applied.
Last October, speculation grew that Essendon was looking to cut ties with Hird after he decided to appeal the ruling against him and the club, saying it “places him directly at odds with the AFL’s hierarchy”.
Read more on that here.
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