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Throwing punches, pulling heartstrings

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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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''The Weapon'' had two obvious ambitions in his interview with Luke Darcy. One was to smear James Hird - with a dodgy cream, a police raid and everything untoward that happened at Windy Hill. The other was to elicit sympathy for his own plight and emotional breakdown.

Dean Robinson's The Inside Man special was a combination of a 60 Minutes-style expose - and there was some unpleasant new material for Essendon and Hird and even the AFL to deal with, as well as a summary of what has been reported - and one of those teary sit-downs that Oprah specialises in.

But it was certainly not Lance Armstrong sitting with Oprah to confess his sins. It was the sins of others, one person above all, that Robinson's talk was focused on. His tell-all was directed at Essendon, and in particular, at Hird. The discussion of Essendon's supplements program was dominated by his attacks on the coach.

The most serious new allegation - which Robinson had repeated to ASADA - was that Hird had phoned him from New York and encouraged him to investigate an ''undetectable cream'' that Robinson told ASADA he suspected was testosterone.

Tellingly, Robinson did not mention Mark Thompson, Hird's assistant and the man whom he worked under at Geelong. This was an interesting omission, since one would assume that Thompson was instrumental in bringing him to Windy Hill.

The impression created of Hird was obviously and overwhelmingly negative, as Robinson intended. He suggested that ''whatever it takes'' was the leitmotif for the coach, who had thought Collingwood was up to no good.

The view of Stephen Dank was mixed - ''unsure'' was his one-word description of the contentious chemist, whom he at one point trusted with the treatment of his family. His view of Dank was as confused as his view of Hird was clear.

Robinson also portrayed himself as a quasi-whistleblower, having ''pulled back'' the supplements program for this year.

But he also suggested that he didn't know what was going on behind some doors - particularly at one clinic where Dank treated the players and ran up a bill of more than $60,000.

One of the most interesting new pieces of information relayed by Robinson was that David Zaharakis alone of the players didn't want to be involved in the ''black ops'' program - the sneak preview line that the program had been sold on, but which wasn't actually the substance of the interview, so to speak.

Robinson started on the emotional front, dramatically describing how he had contemplated suicide. Then the narrative began of how he had come to Windy Hill via Geelong and Gold Coast, hired Dank and been drawn into Hird's ''inner sanctum''.

Channel Seven had a disclaimer on Robinson's claim about the alleged Federal Police raid on Hird's home. Responses to this and other questions raised by Robinson will be fascinating.

Seven acknowledged that Robinson was paid for his story, which is no surprise. It got its money's worth.

149 comments

  • This response was to be expected. Having been one of the early fall guys, Robinson must now be disgusted by the way James Hird is positioning himself as 'bigger than the game'.

    Commenter
    Octagonal89
    Location
    Carnegie
    Date and time
    July 31, 2013, 10:33PM
    • Surprising that Channel 7 didn't offer him a lie detector seeing as they roll out their lie detector guy so often - maybe they didn't want to see the results. He looked like guy under huge stress and if I put back on my detective's hat I would want see evidence to back up what he said.

      Commenter
      the Truth
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      July 31, 2013, 10:45PM
    • Steven Van Aperen has been seen many many times on channel 7 for Today tonight - why wouldn't they wheel him out for this - his eyes were bloodshot - he looked nervous. I didn't believe him.

      Commenter
      You are right
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      July 31, 2013, 11:41PM
    • Hird is playing the only defence he can, denial. He is in up to his wrinkle free neck. There are too many questions hanging over him now. How is this behaviour of his not bringing the game into disrepute? They boned Fevola for less!

      But one obvious thing he can't avoid is giving him away. His flawless visage!

      Hird looks wrinkless just like Robinson. The amount of stress these fools are under and not a single blemish or wrinkle? No dark patch under the eyes? No crows feet? What beauty cream they on? They have the flawless, wrinkle free faces of teenagers...

      Don't tell me that complexion just comes from running, pumping and lifting, multivitamins, steamed chook breast and vegies!

      EFC have alot to answer for. Wonder if they start to unravel now like a Satdee night souvlaki eaten in the back of the cab home...

      Commenter
      Mr. Natural?
      Location
      Gimme a break!
      Date and time
      July 31, 2013, 11:54PM
    • Are all the "judges" on this thread alright if Hird is presumed innocent until proven guilty?

      Oh and can he hire a defence team and some PR too?

      Cool, just wanted to check that you're all aware that we're in Australia!

      Commenter
      Andrew
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 01, 2013, 2:16AM
    • @ the Truth - the Channel 7 lie detector guy is busy at ASADA sifting through the "it weren't me it were 'im!" testimonials.

      Commenter
      Penster
      Location
      Bondi
      Date and time
      August 01, 2013, 7:31AM
    • Mr Natural - So what? This isn't about vanity products.

      People seem to have no ability to concentrate on issues.

      Commenter
      BeachBoy
      Date and time
      August 01, 2013, 10:32AM
    • BeachBoy, my point is that substances like they are all accused of taking have an obvious effect on the body in it's ability to repair and retain skin characteristics of the youth. Shane Charter was peddling substances that led to him calling his business Mr. Ageless!!!

      Hird can't deny taking part in these substance programmes on the one hand and on the other look like a man less than half his age. Whatever supplements he has taken have had an effect as evidenced by the way he looks. Diet and exercise alone don't make a bloke look like Hird at his age. Sure he is innocent until proven guilty. Nuthin' Suss...

      People seem to have no ability to concentrate on issues eh?

      Do you need everything spelled out for you?

      Commenter
      Mr. Natural?
      Location
      There. Am I clear now?
      Date and time
      August 01, 2013, 12:53PM
    • First lie of Robinson proved so far, Victorian police have advised Hirds house was NEVER raided, let's wait for the rest when the report comes out and Essendon can respond.
      No comment on Dank, no comment on Thompson, Hird is one bad bugger if you can believe Robinson, why didn't they offer him a lie sector test then their would have some credibility, Hird did not bring Collingwood, Hawthorn or West Coast into this ROBINSONS allegations only.

      Commenter
      Enty
      Date and time
      August 01, 2013, 1:05PM
  • Certainly the feeble minded who believe anything they hear will attack Hird. Any nuetral with an ounce of sense will question his motives. I found him quite unconvincing and really got nothing new frOm it at all. That so many players are now tweeting their support for Hird and insinuating Robinson is telling porkies, tells me more.

    Commenter
    The Misfire
    Date and time
    July 31, 2013, 10:34PM

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