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Essendon sought ASADA delay

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Essendon wanted ASADA to delay the issuing of show cause notices until after Sunday’s AFL match against Melbourne.

Bombers chairman Paul Little resumed his criticism of the anti-doping body before the MCG match and said the club is confident its legal action will succeed.

Essendon and their banned coach James Hird have launched Federal Court action against ASADA.

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 They are going to court in the wake of ASADA issuing the show cause notices against 34 current and past Essendon players.

“The clubs requested that today’s game not be negatively affected by the obvious and significant distraction to our players and their state of mind,” Little said in his pre-game speech.

“Consequently, our legal team requested the posting of these show cause notices occur next week so that we could better assist our players in handling this traumatic development in their careers.

“Having now waited for 16 months, what significant difference would a further two days have made to the process?”

Essendon will challenge banned substance allegations in the Federal Court.

News broke on Thursday that ASADA was about to issue the show cause notices after the 17-month investigation into Essendon’s 2012 supplements program.

It was a joint investigation with the AFL.

Essendon will argue at the Federal Court that it was unlawful.

“Some in the press have asked why we waited until now to raise this legal challenge,” Little said.

“When the investigation started 16 months ago, we entered the process in good faith believing that ASADA would be in control and acting in accordance obviously with their charter.

“As the investigation process dragged on, and as the details supporting the allegations was not forthcoming, we became more and more concerned at this process.

“In addition, there has been an increasing chorus of people suggesting the process was constitutionally flawed, including recognised legal experts.

“Ultimately, the strong advice we received by the club was to issue proceedings.”

Little again blasted new ASADA chief executive Ben McDevitt.

“I have tried on numerous occasions to establish a dialogue with the head of ASADA to no avail,” Little said.

“Instead, they have chosen to use the media and around public forums to justify the issuing of the show cause notices.

“The CEO of ASADA has used the media irresponsibly by intimidating and attempting to negotiate with our players.”