Sport AFL Ex-Essendon player contemplating legal action against AFL

Ex-Essendon player contemplating legal action against AFL

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An ex-Essendon player who wants to sue the AFL and the club over its notorious 2012 supplements program has all the information he needs to decide if he has a case, a court has heard.

Hal Hunter is trying to force Essendon and the AFL to give up documents about the program that could form the basis for legal action against them.

His lawyers are seeking items including personnel files and details of agreements between the club and controversial sports scientist Stephen Dank.

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Barrister Arthur Moses, for Hunter, told a Victorian court the supplements program exposed the player to significant risk to his health and wellbeing.

“During the time Mr Hunter was contracted to Essendon he was subjected to an experimental program,” Mr Moses said.

“This is a straight up and down case of an employee wanting information of what supplements were provided by who.”

But the club and the AFL say Hunter, who was delisted at the end of 2013 after two seasons without a senior game, has enough information to know if he has a case.

Renee Enbom, for the AFL, told the Victorian Supreme Court on Thursday a great deal of material had been provided already.

“The club has given to the plaintiff all contemporaneous records in relating to the administration of supplements,” Ms Enbom said.

“It’s hard to understand how the player doesn’t have now sufficient information.”

Essendon lawyer Anthony Young said Hunter has no claim because he can’t demonstrate loss.

“One starts with loss, there is no loss,” he said.

The court earlier heard Hunter agreed to participate in the 2012 supplements program because it was endorsed by senior Essendon players who said it was compliant with anti-doping regulations.

“During the relevant period the Essendon Football Club owed him a duty of care,” Mr Moses said.

“The AFL may have also breached its duty to ensure his welfare as a player.”

Mr Moses said Hunter also wants to know when the AFL became aware of the supplements program, and what it did with that information.

Ms Enbom said the AFL began its investigation into the program in 2013 after it was contacted by the Australian Crime Commission.

Associate Justice Nemeer Mukhtar has reserved his decision.


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