A controversial supplements program has proven to be the Essendon Football Club’s undoing, as a Melbourne court fined the Bombers $200,000 for what is seen as clear workplace safety breaches, says a report by Mark Dunn for the Herald Sun.
Club pleaded guilty to workplace safety breaches
The penalty was not unexpected, as the club has already pleaded guilty last year to the charges filed by WorkSafe Victoria.
According to Magistrate Peter Reardon, the actions of the club, particularly that of then-coach James Hird, sports scientist Stephen Dank and fitness coach Dean Robinson, displayed a “blatant disregard” for the safety of the players.
In 2012, the AFL club implemented a supplements and injection regime that involved experimental substances, all to get an edge on the competition. When senior players raised concerns about the program, protocols were redrawn to make sure that Bruce Reid, the club’s doctor, cleared the substances before they were used.
Magistrate Reardon, however, said the injections continued even without Dr. Reid’s consent, and the protocol was “totally ignored”.
The club was also ordered to pay $20,000 in legal costs.
Read the full article here.
Somehow, justice has been served in this case. The club committed an irregularity, and they got penalised for it. No club in any league and any sport should ever have the right to essentially experiment on their players just so they could win games. Players should also be extra vigilant when it comes to doping. The moment they suspect something fishy is going on, they should act on it immediately and report it. Sporting leagues, for their part, should also take the necessary steps to make sure nothing of this sort ever happens again. No victory on the field or on the court will ever be worth the consequences of taking performance enhancing substances. Besides, who likes winning because of cheating anyway?