Sport AFL Abbott says ASADA ‘overreacted’

Abbott says ASADA ‘overreacted’

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The Prime Minster has blasted the former Labor government for their infamous press conference into drugs in sport, and labelled the ASADA investigation into Essendon a ‘mountain out of a molehill’.

In an interview with Sydney shock jock Alan Jones, Tony Abbott condemned the February 2013 press conference called by the then-Labor government, which was labelled the ‘blackest day in Australian sport’.

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“I certainly do remember that infamous press conference Alan, where two Labor government ministers said this was a black day for Australian sport,” Mr Abbott said.

“It certainly, in retrospect, looks to have been a black day for Australian government because the ministers appear to have been using sport as a distraction from their difficulties.

“I think, frankly, we have made mountains out of molehills it seems here.

“I think the sooner this matter can be resolved and put behind us the better.”

Jones repeatedly referred to ASADA as ‘thugs’, and called the body’s CEO Ben McDevitt a “thug, the former cop who’s in charge”.

But Mr Abbott defended his sports minister from criticism she hasn’t taken strong enough action against the nation’s anti-doping agency.

He described Sussan Ley as “calm, balanced and reasonable” – exactly the attributes needed to deal with the aftermath of ASADA’s failure to secure anti-doping convictions against 34 past and present Essendon players by the AFL’s anti-doping tribunal.

“This was another disaster we inherited from the former government,” Mr Abbott said.

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