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The Weapon takes aim straight at Dons coach James Hird

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The Weapon zeroes in on Hird

Former high performance manager Dean Robinson hints at a 'black op' style supplements program, saying Essendon coach wanted an edge over other teams.

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Former Essendon high-performance boss Dean Robinson has claimed James Hird wanted him to investigate a testosterone cream that was 'undetectable', and has called for the Essendon coach to stand down.

Robinson - who was known as ''The Weapon'' - also revealed that David Zaharakis had been the only player to not partake in the controversial injecting program in 2012.

James Hird leaves his Toorak home on Thursday morning. The Bombers have dismissed Dean Robinson's claims about the coach's conduct as 'outrageous'.

James Hird leaves his Toorak home on Thursday morning. The Bombers have dismissed Dean Robinson's claims about the coach's conduct as 'outrageous'. Photo: Penny Stephens

''Should we have been more protective? Maybe. But the leadership group didn't have an issue with this, only one player out of Essendon didn't want to be involved - David Zaharakis,'' an emotional Robinson said in a paid 45-minute interview on the Seven Network with AFL commentator and former Western Bulldogs skipper Luke Darcy. ''That was fine, that was his personal choice.''

Speaking on Channel Seven after the interview, former Essendon player Mark McVeigh said the reason Zaharakis didn't take part in the program was because he didn't like needles. He said it was not because Zaharakis was opposed to the supplements program.

McVeigh also said that there were other players who did not take part in the program, though he said that number was less than five.

Dean Robinson during the interview.

Dean Robinson during the interview. Photo: Channel Seven

While Hird has declared his innocence throughout the saga, Robinson said the Bombers great had wanted him to explore a contentious cream after Hird chatted with a doctor in New York.

''I had a phone call while he was overseas, telling me about a doctor he met from New York that had this undetectable substance that you could use as a cream for players. He came back and he told me about it again and said we should investigate, we should go and look at it,'' Robinson said.

Darcy said Robinson had told the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority that he believed Hird was referring to a testosterone cream.

''I said, we are not going there, stay away, that's not what we are about, that's not what I am about,'' Robinson said.

He also claimed Hird said his home was raided years ago by federal police over his relationship with convicted drugs trafficker Shane Charter, who had been Hird's trainer. Charter has been linked with Essendon's sacked sports scientist Stephen Dank, who was in charge of the off-site injecting program now being investigated by ASADA and the AFL.

''He told us at 5am his house got raided, they went through cereal boxes, cupboards everywhere looking for things,'' Robinson said.

''This shocked Steve and I. James asked, 'Do you know Shane Charter?' ... Steve said, 'I know him.' There was obviously a relationship [between Charter and Dank].''

Robinson said he had initially trusted Dank but was unable to say what had happened at the club behind closed doors. He said he had ''pulled back'' the program this year, and said what had been occurring was known at the managerial level.

At the club's pre-season camp on the Gold Coast in late 2011, Robinson claims Hird said the Bombers were ''getting supplements'' off Charter. Robinson said he had protested.

Robinson also said he had been close to suicide after he was stood down by Essendon in February. He has since quit the club and will launch legal action.

Robinson also dragged Collingwood into the controversy, declaring Hird was focused on outmuscling the Magpies.

''He specifically noted a side he really wanted to beat, he wanted to go after Collingwood and he wanted to beat Collingwood - it was whatever it took. He knew stuff that Collingwood were doing,'' Robinson said.

''He said to me that he knew they were taking supplements that were allowing them to get an advantage because he knew who was supplying them.''

Magpies president Eddie McGuire has denied his club was involved in a biological program.

Essendon released a statement after the interview aired, saying:

''The Club acknowledges that Dean Robinson appears to be under an extreme amount of pressure as are a number of people who are employed at the Essendon Football Club.

''However, the series of allegations made by Dean Robinson on Channel 7 tonight are totally without foundation. They are coming from a disgruntled, disaffected and discredited ex-employee.

''They are outrageous in nature and the club is seeking appropriate legal advice.''

101 comments

  • Dean Robinson had one objective with his interview and that was to slur James Hird and make himself look like a "victim". Don't believe what he said, until the report is released all that is said is innuendo and speculation. It appears to me that this is also a case of trial by media.

    Commenter
    B/P
    Location
    Wodonga
    Date and time
    August 01, 2013, 6:13AM
    • Two objectives, then

      Commenter
      Kahkid
      Date and time
      August 01, 2013, 6:50AM
    • I agree B/P

      Commenter
      J.F Fan Club
      Date and time
      August 01, 2013, 7:04AM
    • My recollection is that he was answering questions! If he is telling the truth then James Hird deserves a slur. Don't you think?

      Commenter
      vinnie veritas
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 01, 2013, 7:18AM
    • Aw look I'm not an Essendon supporter but I don't think the bombers have done any wrong because you know, James Hird said so, and I don't believe the way the media are attacking Essendon and it's not as if any other clubs wouldn't be doing the same thing and the credible Spike McVeigh said nothing happened. Did I say I'm not an Essendon supporter. And also the hexa.....hexa......that hexa stuff was used on James only - nothing to look at there, James just needed to increase his own performance for those last qtr boundary walks when the bombers have the game wrapped up. I'm not a bomber fan, we should leave Essendon alone.

      Commenter
      Joe Citizen
      Location
      Melb
      Date and time
      August 01, 2013, 7:27AM
    • people, people, please, let's noty have a trial by media.

      We all know how badly that always ends.

      But hey, David Zaharakis comes out of this the champ. What a great example of independance of thought.

      Just .... don't. Even when you're in the belly of the beast, stand your ground. Know what's right and wrong.

      Great story.

      Commenter
      sarajane
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      August 01, 2013, 7:32AM
    • James Hird was in charge, at the very least he should have been stood down as well as Robinson. It's fascinating the way the football personalities and Essendon are allowing 'Hird veneration' to cloud their judgement. What does it tell you about a person who takes illegal substance injections for reasons of vanity?

      Commenter
      Joe
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 01, 2013, 8:04AM
    • That's an incorrect comment. He was answering questions, and didn't reveal anything new which hadn't already came up under oath during the ASADA investigation.

      Commenter
      Mick
      Location
      Melb
      Date and time
      August 01, 2013, 8:32AM
    • Yeah, but what about Eddie McGuire. He got away with a performance no player would ever get away with.

      They should have ex players in charge of these clubs. Not ... personalities and business men. Maybe that's where they've gone wrong. Those in charge are a bit out of touch with the reality of playing the game and don't know which side their bread is buttered.

      Commenter
      sarajane
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      August 01, 2013, 8:41AM
    • And what about Milne, with 4 rape charges against him. Still playing.

      Crazy bubble they exist in at the top.

      Commenter
      sarajane
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      August 01, 2013, 8:43AM

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Round 1
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78 vs RIC 105 19:20MCG
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MEL 115 vs GCF 89 13:40MCG
SYD 72 vs ESS 60 16:35ANZ
BRI 74 vs COL 86 19:20G
WBU 97 vs WCE 87 19:20ES
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 78 vs GWS 87 13:10ES
ADE 140 vs NTH 63 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE 75 vs PTA 68 18:40Domain Stadium
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HAW 123 vs GEE 61 15:20MCG
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WCE 131 vs CAR 62 20:10Domain Stadium
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RIC 66 vs WBU 85 13:45MCG
GWS 101 vs MEL 56 14:10SO
COL 63 vs ADE 90 16:35ES
GCF 76 vs STK 104 19:20MS
PTA 44 vs SYD 92 19:40Adelaide Oval
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NTH 133 vs BRI 51 16:40ES
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COL 140 vs STK 66 19:50MCG
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ADE 80 vs MEL 55 14:10Adelaide Oval
SYD 111 vs GWS 90 16:35SCG
NTH 105 vs PTA 113 19:20ES
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GEE 105 vs GCF 96 15:20SS
WCE 81 vs FRE 111 16:40Domain Stadium
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GWS 119 vs GCF 53 17:40SO
PTA 99 vs HAW 91 19:40Adelaide Oval
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COL vs HAW 19:50MCG
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GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
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ESS vs STK 13:10ES
ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
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PTA vs COL 19:50Adelaide Oval
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RIC vs CAR 19:50MCG
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ESS vs MEL 13:40MCG
WBU vs GCF 16:35CAZ
NTH vs GEE 19:20ES
WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
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GWS vs STK 13:10Spotless Stadium
HAW vs FRE 15:20AS
BRI vs SYD 16:40G
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Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH vs ESS 19:50ES
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GEE vs WBU 13:45SS
GCF vs GWS 14:10MS
COL vs WCE 16:35ES
SYD vs HAW 19:20ANZ
FRE vs CAR 19:40Domain Stadium
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MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
PTA vs ADE 15:20Adelaide Oval
STK vs RIC 16:40ES
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Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs GEE 13:45SO
ADE vs GCF 14:10Adelaide Oval
RIC vs FRE 16:35MCG
ESS vs PTA 19:20ES
BRI vs NTH 19:20G
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
WBU vs COL 13:10ES
MEL vs STK 15:20MCG
WCE vs SYD 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 18
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW vs RIC 19:50MCG
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs BRI 13:45SS
COL vs MEL 14:10MCG
SYD vs ADE 16:35SCG
CAR vs NTH 19:20ES
GCF vs WCE 19:20MS
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
PTA vs STK 13:10Adelaide Oval
ESS vs WBU 15:20ES
FRE vs GWS 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 19
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
WBU vs PTA 14:10ES
BRI vs GCF 16:35G
GEE vs SYD 19:20SS
WCE vs HAW 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL vs NTH 13:10MCG
GWS vs ESS 15:20Spotless Stadium
STK vs FRE 16:40ES
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Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD vs COL 19:50SCG
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS vs ADE 13:45ES
NTH vs STK 14:10BA
PTA vs GWS 16:35Adelaide Oval
GEE vs HAW 19:20MCG
BRI vs CAR 19:20G
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GCF 13:10MCG
WBU vs MEL 15:20ES
FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW vs PTA 19:50ES
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs RIC 13:45MCG
GWS vs SYD 14:10Spotless Stadium
GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
STK vs GEE 19:20ES
ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH vs FRE 13:10ES
CAR vs MEL 15:20MCG
WCE vs WBU 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs COL 19:50MCG
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
GWS vs CAR 13:45Spotless Stadium
HAW vs BRI 14:10AS
NTH vs WBU 16:35ES
ESS vs RIC 19:20MCG
GCF vs PTA 19:20MS
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE vs WCE 13:10Adelaide Oval
STK vs SYD 15:20ES
FRE vs MEL 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
COL vs ESS 00:00MCG
RIC vs NTH 00:00ES
HAW vs CAR 00:00MCG
GEE vs ADE 00:00SS
SYD vs GCF 00:00SCG
MEL vs GWS 00:00ES
BRI vs WBU 00:00G
PTA vs FRE 00:30Adelaide Oval
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Fremantle 4 4 0 0 135.32 16
GWS Giants 4 3 1 0 133.22 12
Collingwood 4 3 1 0 128.32 12
Sydney Swans 4 3 1 0 125.00 12
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