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- Recap: the Dean Robinson interview
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.
The Weapon zeroes in on 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.
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.
''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.
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.''