Sport AFL Essendon want investigation frozen

Essendon want investigation frozen

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Lawyers acting on behalf of Essendon want ASADA to halt its investigation into the supplements program at the AFL club until the Federal Court rules on its legality.

The Bombers and their coach James Hird – who is currently serving a 12-month ban – are due in court on June 27 for a directions hearing before Justice John Middleton.

Thirty-four current and former Essendon players were issued with show-cause notices by ASADA on Thursday over the possible use of the banned peptide Thymosin beta 4 in 2012.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, acting on behalf of Essendon, will ask the Federal Court for an expedited hearing after the club launched legal action on Friday.

“It is in the interests of all parties that the legality of the ASADA investigation is determined by the court at the earliest opportunity,” Maurice Blackburn principal Josh Bornstein said in a statement.

“The position of my client is very clear. It seeks to have its case heard and determined by the Federal Court as soon as possible.”

Mr Bornstein said Essendon were also seeking a commitment from ASADA to take no further steps in the investigation until the matter had been addressed by the Federal Court.

“We hope at the directions hearing on the 27th June to have reached a joint position with ASADA on a quick timetable for the case to be heard, possibly within the next two or three months,” he said.

Essendon are challenging the joint nature of the investigation between ASADA and the AFL.

Bombers president Paul Little called the joint investigation “unlawful” on Friday.

Hird has launched a separate legal action against the ASADA chief executive.

Justice Middleton said on Tuesday that he would like to be able to set both proceedings down for trial together on June 27.