Ex-Bombers coach James Hird will give his first interview after the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) decision to ban the ‘Essendon 34’ at a ticketed event in Sydney.
Following a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appeal to CAS, the Switzerland-based sports body hit all 34 past and present Essendon players with suspensions, which will end in November of this year.
It rules 17 current AFL players – 12 of which remain at Essendon – out of the 2016 season and will leave the Bombers, who are likely to face a range of lawsuits, in turmoil on and off the field.
Hird, of course, coached the Bombers for much of the supplements saga and received a 12-month suspension for his part in the saga.
He will appear at the Sydney Ethics Centre on Sunday January 17 for a night called ‘James Hird in Conversation’.
The ex-AFL champion will speak to ABC journalist Tracey Holmes in front of a live audience, while the interview will also be broadcast live on ABC 24.
Tickets for the 50-minute event are priced at $33.
Other upcoming events at the Ethics Centre include conversations on sex, gender and animal rights.
Speaking on 3AW Radio on Wednesday, Holmes said “my understanding is he (Hird) isn’t being paid” for the interview.
She also said she was not a Hird sympathiser ahead of the interview.
“Yes, I’ve heard those descriptions, most of those coming from Melbourne because my interest in this story came right from the start when it was so apparent that this story is about so much more than a football club,” she said.
“I’ve always tried to stand back from the hubris, the emotion, the allegations that are not founded on fact.”
Hird was suspended for the entire 2013 AFL season after being found to have brought the game into disrepute, but returned in 2014 to coach the fledgling Bombers.
He and the Bombers parted company late in the 2015 season, though, after a series of poor results. He was replaced by former West Coast premiership coach, John Worsfold.