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No move to cut Hird name from junior cup

An ACT school-based competition bearing the name of James Hird will remain despite accusations the Essendon legend was injected with a substance banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The James Hird Cup is contested by year 5 and year 6 primary school students from around Canberra and the surrounding region.

AFL NSW/ACT confirmed on Thursday that the competition would continue as normal this year.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou suggested the Essendon coach would be treated harshly if the accusations were proved.

''As a parent, and not just as the chief executive of the AFL, the issues as reported surrounding the potential use of various substances are something that are disturbing,'' Demetriou said.

''They are very disturbing, particularly when we are talking about the health and welfare of young men.

''I'm horrified as a parent about the thought, that if true, that young men were being injected with these substances.''

Along with being injected himself, Hird is accused of being one of the figureheads of systematic doping at the Bombers. He has vehemently denied the accusations by sports scientist Stephen Dank, who ran the club's supplement program.

Hird grew up in Canberra, played his junior football with Ainslie and was a part of the club's 1990 premiership-winning side.

He carved out a sensational playing career with the Bombers, winning a premiership and the Brownlow Medal on his way to the AFL Hall of Fame.

Only last month, Hird returned to Canberra amid much fanfare for a pre-season NAB Cup match between Essendon and the GWS Giants at Manuka Oval.

Jerrabomberra Public School won last year's James Hird Cup.

An official from the Ainslie Football Club declined to comment.

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