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Essendon players fear delay to AFL anti-doping tribunal

Amid the latest legal stoush, the Essendon players caught up in the supplements drama have reiterated they want the AFL anti-doping tribunal to begin as slated.
Nanjing Night Net

Most of the 34 players, of whom about 18 are still at Essendon, have taken provisional suspensions, meaning they can train with the club but cannot play.

If, ultimately, there are suspensions, they will hope the provisional suspension period is taken into account when any punishment is handed out.

They, naturally, want to get to that deliberation point as soon as possible. However, the Supreme Court hearing on Wednesday, which has been adjourned to next Wednesday, threatens to delay the start of the December 15 hearing before the AFL’s anti-doping tribunal.

David Grace QC, representing 32 of the 34 players on behalf of the AFL Players Association, was keen for the tribunal hearing to begin as scheduled.

“As I said in court, the players are anxious that this matter proceed as soon as possible without any delay,” he said.

Lawyers for the two players who have sought separate counsel were not represented in court on Wednesday.

AFL lawyer Renee Enbom said the league also wanted the case to begin on time and revealed that if it did not, there were concerns one of the witnesses may flee overseas in a bid to avoid the tribunal, which does not have the powers of the justice system.

Witnesses do not give evidence under oath in the AFL tribunal.

“There is one other important consideration, in my view, and that is that there is evidence before the court that one of the respondents has indicated that he might travel overseas to avoid the process,” Enbom said.

“For that reason, we would like to see this application be determined quickly and, if your honour does make an order, that the subpoena be served on that person as quickly as possible.”

Enbom did not disclose who the witness was.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority has sought subpoenas on its two key witnesses, Shane Charter, a convicted drug importer, and compound pharmacist Nima Alavi.

The AFL will want the tribunal to begin on time because, if there are any suspensions, it will most likely require it to enact a ruling allowing the Bombers to acquire stand-in players from state leagues.

Justice Clyde Croft has set aside two days for next week’s hearing.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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