Essendon chairman Paul Little made a public plea on Friday night for his AFL club to be given an update on ASADA’s ongoing investigation.
The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority’s “protracted” and “potentially damaging” probe into the Bombers’ supplements program once again featured prominently in Little’s pre-match address.
Responding to a Fairfax Media report that alleged up to 40 players from the Bombers’ 2012 squad would soon be issued show-cause letters, Little’s message before the clash with Sydney was simple.
“We need clarity,” Little said at the Etihad Stadium chairman’s function, bemoaning the absence of any timetable or update from ASADA.
“We need the leaks to stop.
“We need the closure and we need it now.”
Little spoke of the frustration that a journalist had seemingly been given detailed information about the ASADA probe before Essendon’s affected players and officials.
He contrasted the apparent leak with his own proposals to meet with government officials, ASADA boss Ben McDevitt and his predecessor Aurora Andruska – which had all been denied.
“What message then should I pass onto our players?,” he asked, referencing the 15-month wait that has followed the Australian Crime Commission’s infamous press conference on drugs in sport.
“Onto our players’ families, members, supporters, staff and sponsors?”
Little maintained Essendon’s party line that the club’s players had not taken “anything illegal or anything harmful”.