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Bombers commission independent review

By John Salvado,


21 Have your say

    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.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (21)

    • February 28th 2013 @ 7:43am
      Steve M said | February 28th 2013 @ 7:43am | ! Report

      Essendon at the bare minimum, through its lack of corporate governance, has brought the game into disrepute, Ben Cousins was deregistered for 12 months for the same offence.

      • Roar Guru

        February 28th 2013 @ 8:48am
        Redb said | February 28th 2013 @ 8:48am | ! Report

        Steve M,

        Until charges are laid or the police involved like with Ben Cousins then we will all have to wait until the ASADA investigation concludes.

        Governance nazis are always so clever with the benefit of hindsight. The club will learn and improve that is the point of calling in Ziggy & team.

    • February 28th 2013 @ 9:17am
      Steve M said | February 28th 2013 @ 9:17am | ! Report

      Ben was never charged by police, nor did he fail a drug test when he was deregistered.

      • Roar Guru

        February 28th 2013 @ 9:21am
        Redb said | February 28th 2013 @ 9:21am | ! Report

        There is no comparison. Player v club.

        Cousins admitted to drug use.

        Essendon could be fined if you use the Melbourne tanking case as a precedent.

    • February 28th 2013 @ 9:37am
      Steve M said | February 28th 2013 @ 9:37am | ! Report

      Essendon has admitted to irregularities in its sports supplement program, the ACC has nominated Essendon, one other player and six NRL clubs of interest in regards to use of performance enhancing drugs in sport. Essendon sacked Stephen Danks in charge of their sports supplement program and then suspended the Weapon. Essendon instigated the ASADA and AFL investigation because it new it had a case to answer.

      If it was up to the AFL they would be fined to cover it up for the good of the game as in the case of Melbourne’s tanking.

      However, it is not up to the AFL and ASADA will not take any prisoners.

      • Roar Guru

        February 28th 2013 @ 10:10am
        Redb said | February 28th 2013 @ 10:10am | ! Report

        Like I said we all have to wait until ASADA finishes it’s investigation, like some you are pre-judging the result by accusing Essendon of bringing the game into disrepute.

        Innocent until proven guilty – I heard that somewhere.

    • February 28th 2013 @ 10:30am
      Steve M said | February 28th 2013 @ 10:30am | ! Report

      Do you really think that with all the information available Essendon has not brought the game into disrepute. I know they are innocent until proven guilty, but even as an Essendon supporter you must see they have a case to answer.

      • Roar Guru

        February 28th 2013 @ 11:02am
        Redb said | February 28th 2013 @ 11:02am | ! Report

        Again it will depend on what the investigation uncovers. Questions needs to be answered, like:

        Did Essendon condone the use of PED’s?

        Have Essendon players taken PED’s?

        At what level in the club did irregularities in processes occur?

        Who who knew and can the individuals involved be reasonably held to account?

        Was it one rogue individual or systemic?

        Was the hiring of Dank negligent by Robinson? (If Dank is found guilty of something)


        In everday life, an employer is not charged if an employee steals or does something illegal? Does the employer need to look at controls? probably yes and with hindsight this often occurs.

        The AFL has already said it beleives the Phys-Edders have too much control at clubs – this is a massive wake up call to the competition as a whole. Mick Malthouse said immediately afterwards he is not across every single facet of the sports science dept. Other coaches have agreed.

        The ACC/ASADA are investigating the explosion of importation of supplements (peptides and others) over the past 12 months to 2 years. This is a recent problem unfolding before our eyes.

        When the questions above are answered and let’s say ASADA clears Essendon, has the club brought the game into disrepute? To a degree yes becuase of media exposure. Did Adelaide when the Tippett affair ocurred? – were they suspended for 12 months?

        Did Collingwood when CEO Gary Pert admitted it’s players have an illicit drug problem?

    • February 28th 2013 @ 12:12pm
      Seano said | February 28th 2013 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

      Essendon finds out it has done something wrong, calls the media, asada, afl and ziggy to sort it out. Another unnamed club gets told about there one player, they hide and do nothing, lets just remember how honest the bombers always have been, compared to all other clubs.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [].

    • February 28th 2013 @ 12:24pm
      Steve M said | February 28th 2013 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

      Essendon have been honest (as you put it) because they have no choice as they are the only club named by the ACC with a case to answer. No other club has been implicated as Essendon has. One other unknown player from an unkwnown club is under investigation, this does not suggest the unknown club has done anything wrong, just the unknown player.

      • Roar Guru

        February 28th 2013 @ 12:26pm
        Redb said | February 28th 2013 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

        You haven’t answered my post.

        • February 28th 2013 @ 12:50pm
          Steve M said | February 28th 2013 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

          There is no precedence in admin law every case is judged on its own merits; therefore, there is no use answering your post.

          • Roar Guru

            February 28th 2013 @ 2:46pm
            Redb said | February 28th 2013 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

            “every case is judged on its own merits” finally you’ve come around.

            The Ben Cousins scenario is irrelevant.

            • February 28th 2013 @ 3:53pm
              Steve M said | February 28th 2013 @ 3:53pm | ! Report


              The scenario is irrelevant but the punishment isn’t.
              RedB you are to one eyed for me to bother debating the subject. Good Luck and bye, I will not respond again.

              • Roar Guru

                February 28th 2013 @ 4:45pm
                Redb said | February 28th 2013 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

                Steve M,

                So far you have not debated much at all. Perhaps for a reason.