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Club presidents back AFL Commission after Essendon supplements briefing

Club presidents back AFL Commission after Essendon supplements briefing
August 22, 2013

17 AFL clubs have backed the league's stance that charges relating to Essendon's use of supplements should be heard by the AFL Commission and not by an outside tribunal.

The 17 clubs, not including Essendon, stood united at the completion of an extraordinary meeting called by Commission Chariman Mike Fitzpatrick, after the league released the particulars of the charges against the Bombers, coach James Hird, senior assistant Mark Thompson, football manager Danny Corcoran and club doctor Bruce Reid.

The two-and-a-half hour long briefing on Essendon's supplements scandal came after the AFL released a 34-page document detailing the grounds on which it has charged the Bombers with bringing the game into disrepute on Wednesday.

Hird has launched Supreme Court action on aimed at having an independent body, not the AFL Commission, hear the charge against him and seeking a ruling that the league provide more detail on its evidence plus a list of witnesses it will call.

However, Western Bulldogs Chairman Peter Gordon, speaking on behalf of the clubs, told reporters that resolving the issue within the league itself was vital.

Reading from a prepared statement, Gordon explained "in our view, it is of paramount importance that every effort be made to resolve these matters within the AFL industry.

"We wish to unanimously express our confidence in the AFL Commission and AFL management."

Gordon said after discussions with the league and Essendon Chairman Paul Little, the 17 other clubs met in the Bombers absence to consider the dispute.

Gorden added that clubs at this meeting "resolved to unanimously express our support for the integrity of the AFL rules and the need for those rules and the integrity of our competition to be preserved."


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