Media statement: ASADA responds to AFL Players' Associations's demands

23 October 2014

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) today responded to the AFL Players’ Association’s demands for ASADA to expedite the process, including bringing the matter before the Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel (ADRVP) within seven days.

ASADA Chief Executive Officer, Ben McDevitt, said ASADA will not be dictated to by the AFL Players’ Association, its lawyers, or anybody else.

‘In the six months I have been at ASADA I have had the club, the coach, the AFL Players’ Association, various other legal entities, plus other interested parties all voice their views as to the management of these matters.

‘While all claim to represent the interest of the players and/or Australian sport, the advice as to remedial actions varies dramatically.

‘In my role as protector of clean athletes in Australia, my advice to them is that if they want to act in the best interest of the players they should review the 12,000 pages of evidence and follow the due process.

‘I only wish that such interest in player welfare had been present in 2012,’ Mr McDevitt said.

ASADA has written to the players’ lawyer to remind him that the demands are inconsistent with the mandatory provisions of the National Anti-Doping scheme and as such, ASADA is unable to agree to them.

ASADA reminded the players’ lawyer that the ADRVP is a separate and independent body to ASADA and the CEO has no legal power to direct the function of the ADRVP or to dictate the timing of its consideration of cases.

ASADA also reminded the players’ lawyer that a number of their demands for fast-tracking the process were within the control of the AFL, and not ASADA. The CEO of ASADA does not have the power to direct the AFL to expedite anti-doping cases before its tribunal.

ASADA wishes to clarify comments made by various groups regarding ‘show cause’ notices and the provision of evidence to players.

Due to the Federal Court action by the Essendon Football Club and its coach, James Hird in June where they challenged the lawfulness of the evidence obtained by ASADA, it was appropriate for ASADA to delay the delivery of evidence in these matters until a judgment was handed down.

In the normal course of events, the comprehensive summary of evidence provided to players in the amended ‘show cause’ notices in October would have been available to players back in July.

ASADA is as keen as anyone to finalise these matters, but it will not risk the proper consideration of these serious matters for the sake of speed.

The period for players to respond to the amended ‘show cause’ notices ends on 27 October.

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