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Essendon supplements saga: Federal Court hearing day three

Live coverage of day three of the Federal Court hearing into the legality of ASADA's inquiry into Essendon's controversial supplements program. Closing submissions from lawyers representing James Hird, Essendon and ASADA have begun. There is a break between 1pm and 2pm. Submissions are expected to finish at 4.30pm.

Essendon scandal: ASADA pair quizzed

Third morning of the Essendon supplements hearing focusses on the roles of ASADA investigators Trevor Burgess and Aaron Walker, reports Daniel Cherny.

So to recap day three:

The final two witnesses, ASADA investigator Aaron Walker and Trevor Burgess gave evidence.

Burgess said that a senior government official told the AFL they wanted ASADA to appear 'as the bad guys.'

The parties then gave their closing submissions.

Essendon counsel Neil Young QC said that the joint AFL-ASADA investigation was "directly repugnant."

ASADA lawyer Tom Howe QC then said that even if it were to lose this case, ASADA could re-issue show-cause notices within 24 hours.

There'll be more news and analysis later today.

Thanks for joining us for live coverage over the past three days.

Federal Court Justice.

There was no indication of a time-frame on the decision from Justice Middleton.

Federal Court Justice.

A few housekeeping matters are just being taken care of. A few documents which need to be tendered.

Middleton: I thank the parties and the legal representatives for the assistance they've given me, and I shall reserve my decision.

Court is adjourned.

James Hird.

Peter Hanks QC (Hird) is asked by Middleton to explain the connection to a couple of cases which have been referenced.

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EWssendon football club.

Young emphasises that it should have been an ASADA investigation.

EWssendon football club.

Young (Essendon) has been detailing various issues he had with Howe's interpretation of ASADA's powers.

Justice Middleton has interjected on occasion to query some of Young's points.

Howe's closing submission is finished.

But Young (Essendon) has the chance to reply to some of the matters raised by ASADA's counsel.

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Middleton asks Howe what happens if the show-cause notices are set aside.

Howe: There's no point in setting aside the notices if they can just be re-issued.

Howe: Information must not be the subject of any permanent, open-ended injunction.

Middleton: That may be looking too far ahead. If I set-aside notices, then nothing would happen until you re-issue notices.

Howe: ASADA could re-issue notices within 24 hours.

Middelton queries whether that could be done within the boundaries of 'procedural fairness.'

Also, Hird is back.


Howe has now directed Justice Middleton to the AFL's anti-doping code.

Howe then proceeds to detail a number of clauses which outline how disclosure of information is allowed.

James Hird is no longer in the courtroom. Paul Little appears to be the sole Essendon administrator left, with others including CEO Xavier Campbell and marketing chief Justin Rodski gone.

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Howe is drawing on provisions from many of the international documents ASADA referred to in its opening submission on Friday. 


ASADA Counsel now turns to the matter of international anti-doping requirements. 

Howe: The ASADA CEO has to have consideration of the international instruments. It's not just an aid to construction, it informs how the whole system works.


Howe: "It doesn't matter who asks the questions. That's not the information in issue. The information in issue is the answers, which are given by the interviewee."


Tom Howe QC (ASADA) draws on a case in which an investigator and a receiver were deemed to have overlapping purposes.

He is essentially trying to showcase an argument that ASADA was allowed to provide information for, and work in conjunction with the AFL.


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