Sport AFL Hird considers High Court bid

Hird considers High Court bid

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Essendon coach James Hird has confirmed he will consider High Court action, saying the AFL players and officials charged over the club’s supplements scandal have “less rights than the average citizen”.

Hird said his two failed Federal Court challenges against the joint AFL-ASADA investigation into the Bombers’ 2011 supplements program had been costly.

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But he continues to strongly defend his legal action, saying the aim has been to help create a fair system for the players.

Hird’s Federal Court appeal was dismissed last Friday, leaving the High Court as his last option.

He broke ranks with Essendon late last year and launched the appeal after their original court action against ASADA also failed.

James Hird walks with his son Alexander during a Bombers mini-triathlon training session. Photo: AAP

“We’ll reserve our rights as to whether we go to the High Court … we’ll have a good sit down to think about it,” Hird told the Seven Network on Monday after returning from the United States.

“We feel now that … our 34 players and our support staff probably have less rights now than the average Australian citizen.”

An AFL anti-doping tribunal is hearing charges against the 34 current and past Essendon players, with verdicts expected in the next few weeks.

Hird called his legal action an expensive exercise.

“Personally, it has cost me a lot of money and it’s money that we have to go and find,” he said.

He also responded to ongoing criticism about his two Federal Court actions.

“I’ve been roundly criticised obviously, firstly for bringing this proceeding and then obviously launching the appeal,” he said.

“But I felt very strongly about the fact that our players weren’t given the right to go through a lawful investigation.

“This was not about suppressing evidence, this was not about trying to get the players off on a technicality.

“It was about trying to get the players a fair, I suppose, system.

“We were forced to go in and give evidence … and we weren’t provided with the confidentiality that one would expect.”

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