Former Essendon fitness chief Dean Robinson has handed out 17 subpoenas as part of his $2 million court case against the Bombers, with former club chairman David Evans even asked to explain any investment opportunities he may have had with peptide and supplement companies.
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Dean Robinson subpoenas target 'conversations'
Wide-ranging subpoenas aimed at "documents relating to either conversations or incidents" over the period 2011 to 2013, lawyer for former Essendon fitness coach tells 3AW host Neil Mitchell.
As revealed by Fairfax Media on Sunday, Robinson's lawyer David Galbally has lifted the stakes in his client's unfair dismissal claim. The names of those subpoenaed were released in the Supreme Court on Monday, although it emerged that suspended coach James Hird, caretaker coach Mark Thompson, club doctor Bruce Reid and former football boss Danny Corcoran had not been ordered to hand over documents relating to Robinson's demise and the club's controversial supplements program.
AFL chief Gillon McLachlan, his predecessor Andrew Demetriou, Hird's wife Tania, former Essendon chief Ian Robson, current chairman Paul Little and News Corp journalist Mark Robinson were among those subpoenaed.
Robinson, nicknamed "The Weapon", was stood down on February 5 last year when the Bombers self-reported to the AFL and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority amid fears players had been administered banned drugs as part of a program run by sports scientist Stephen Dank.
The subpoenas not only relate to the events of that day but even as early as June 1, 2011. February 1 - four days before the major public announcement - has also emerged as a day of interest.
It was revealed last year that Hird and Evans had been briefed on the peptide AOD-9604 in 2012 by the product's Melbourne-based patent holder. David Kenley, chief executive of Metabolic Pharmaceuticals, said in February last year that Evans, a stockbroker, and Hird were addressed as potential investors in the company but the meeting wasn't about treating the club's players. The failed anti-obesity drug last week won supplement approval in the US.
Robinson wants Evans to hand over documents, emails, text messages or file notes "for the period between 1 June 2011 to 1 June 2013 between you and James Hird, and or you and David Kenley, and or Stephen Dank [or their respective agents], relating to investing in, or investment opportunities, in companies with an interest in peptides or supplements".
Evans and Hird did not take up the option. Evans has not wished to speak publicly about the scandal since he stepped down in July last year.
He has also been ordered to hand over any documents relating to the club's 2012 supplements report, any documents between June, 2012 and December, 2012 relating to the club's decision to not renew Dank's contract and any information he has from January 20, 2013, to February 20, 2013, relating to the club's "use, alleged use or proposed use of peptides, supplements or drugs during the defined period".
Little must also deliver any information he has about the supplements report and the demise of Robinson and Dank.
McLachlan has been ordered to produce any documents or notes taken by himself or the league's integrity chief Brett Clothier relating to the February 5 meeting.
He has also been asked to hand over any notes taken by the AFL integrity unit in relation to former Bombers strength scientist Suki Hobson, who was a good friend of Robinson's, and the club's human resources manager Hailey Grimes. Robinson also wants McLachlan to hand over the AFL integrity unit's investigation into the club's supplements program, beginning with any information from February 1, 2013.
Demetriou has been ordered to deliver any documents relating to Robinson's demise, and also any correspondence from January 1, 2013 to March 1, 2013, between himself and any member of Essendon's board or executive.
Football journalist Mark Robinson has also been hauled into the court battle, having been ordered to hand over any documents, emails, notes, text messages and calendar entries "relating to conferences or meetings attended by you involving James Hird and or his legal advisers". It emerged last week that the Bombers had paid the legal fees of Hird's former senior counsel Tony Nolan to brief Robinson.
While James Hird escaped a subpoena, his wife Tania has been ordered to hand over any documents from February 1 to 14 this year in relation to her television interview on the ABC's 7.30. In that explosive interview, she alleges James was told before February 5 that there would be an investigation by ASADA into the club's supplements program. She claimed Demetriou had tipped off Evans about ASADA's investigation into links between drugs in sport and organised crime on February 4 - a point Demetriou has strenuously denied. The Australian Crime Commission cleared Demetriou of any alleged wrong-doing.
The subpoenas must be returned by August 18. Robinson resigned in July last year. The Bombers argue Robinson, who was paid about $320,000 a season, was responsible for the club recruiting Dank – something Robinson has denied – and for ensuring a safe and legal supplements program. He is suing for almost $2 million, including damages.
Those subpoenaed are:
Gillon McLachlan: AFL chief ordered to deliver information on February 5 meeting and the league's integrity unit
Andrew Demetriou: Former AFL chief asked to disclose any correspondence between January 1 and March 1, 2013.
David Evans: Former club boss handed six requests, including any correspondence with peptide companies.
Tania Hird: Wife of suspended coach to elaborate on her 7.30 television interview.
Ian Robson: Former club CEO asked to explain the decision to not renew Stephen Dank's contract.
Paul Little: Current club boss ordered to disclose what he knows about the club's 2012 supplements report.
Chris Heffernan: Club board member ordered to deliver documents explaining why Robinson was suspended.
Daryl Jackson: Club board member ordered to deliver documents explaining why Robinson was suspended.
Phil Pryor: Club board member asked to provide information on the 2012 supplements report.
Paul Brasher: Club deputy chairman asked to explain why Dank's contract was not renewed.
Greg Brown: Club board member asked to explain why Robinson was suspended.
Kevin Egan: Club board member ordered to provide any information why Dank did not return.
Jo-Anne Albert: Club board member ordered to provide any information on Robinson's suspension.
Liz Lukin: Contracted media advisor asked to explain her involvement with the club last year.
Mark Robinson: News Corp journalist ordered to provide information on any briefings with James Hird and or his legal advisers.
Robert Harwood: Former president of influential coterie group Essendonians to provide information on the supplements report and Dank's demise.
Dr Peter Hughes: Current president of Essendonians to provide information on supplements report and demise of Dank and Robinson.