Bombers commission independent review

By , 28 Feb 2013

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    Essendon have commissioned an independent review into “irregular practices” at the AFL club, with chairman David Evans planning to go public with its findings.

    The full external review of the club’s governance, processes and supervision will be headed by former Telstra boss Ziggy Switkowski.

    It will run concurrently with an Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) investigation into possible illegal performance-enhancing drug use at Essendon in their contentious supplement program last season.

    Evans believes a resolution to the ASADA probe is “probably months rather than weeks away”, meaning its findings will likely be submitted after Essendon’s internal review has been completed.

    The internal review will start with the governance of the club, from board level down.

    “The review will also investigate practices in other clubs and other sports, to measure our actions and processes against best practice,” Evans said.

    “Dr Switkowski will be given all the resources he needs to conduct this review, and the board will expect a report and recommendations.

    “We cannot commit to a firm timeline.”

    Three weeks ago, Evans asked the AFL and ASADA to review the club’s 2012 supplements program.

    Five days later, the AFL confirmed Essendon were the only AFL club being investigated for possible multiple breaches of the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) code following an Australian Crime Commission (ACC) report.

    A single player from another AFL team and six NRL clubs were also being being examined by ASADA.

    “The board and I are now aware of irregular practices by the club that are being investigated by ASADA and the AFL,” Evans said on Wednesday.

    “That is why we have decided to call an independent and external review into the governance and processes that have led to us being in the position we are in today.

    “I want to make sure that we are able to give answers to our members about what happened and why, and to put in place any changes needed to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”

    Evans said when finalised, the report would be sent to the AFL Commission and ASADA, and he expected it to be made public.

    “Our members deserve to know what happened, and to have faith that we will take responsibility to fix any problems,” Evans said.

    The Bombers continue their build-up to the home and away season opener on March 22 with a NAB Cup clash against Richmond in Wangaratta on Saturday night.

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