Hird gives evidence at Federal Court hearing
James Hird faces a grilling on the stand as the long running supplements saga between Essendon Football Club and ASADA comes to a head.PT0M0S 620 349
Tim Watson has called ASADA’s bluff, questioning whether the anti-doping body would launch a second investigation into the Bombers' supplements program and re-issue "show-cause" notices to 34 players if they did not win the Federal Court case that began on Monday .
The former Essendon great, who has been a regular voice on developments due to his media commitments, spoke out again on Monday night, labelling the offer of reduced suspensions and the issuing of “show-cause” notices to former and current players as a “fishing expedition” by ASADA.
Lawyers for ASADA reiterated their “absolute” intention in the Federal Court on Monday to re-open the case against some Essendon officials and 34 players in the event the judge ruled the original joint investigation between ASADA and the AFL was unlawful.
Tim Watson: “There has been a lot of bluff, a lot of creation of narrative that has taken place right through this last 18 months." Photo: Wayne Taylor
ASADA lawyers did so having been asked directly by Judge John Middleton.
On Channel Seven, Watson was asked how he felt about the possibility of his son, Essendon captain Jobe, and teammates being put through the stress of another investigation. He responded by casting doubt on ASADA's intention to do so.
“There has been a lot of times throughout all this where I’m not quite sure what to believe," Watson said on Talking Foot.
“There has been a lot of bluff, a lot of creation of narrative that has taken place right through this last 18 months.
“So in regard to [a second investigation], I’m not sure that’s the case. I think there’s a bit of a fishing expedition that has already gone on - which is the 34 show-cause notices and the fact that they have been offered a six-month penalty that they could have served in the off-season.
“Now, if you’ve seriously got some evidence against a group of players, why would the penalty be so soft? If that’s your opening penalty, why would it be so soft?
“I’m not sure that this is anything more than a fishing expedition on behalf of ASADA, but this will play out.
"The whole reason Essendon took this [Federal Court] action was because they did not want this to be prolonged.
“Now, if ASADA are saying that, and let’s believe that’s what they are going to do [launch another investigation], it will just mean that they go to the next course of action - which means this drags on for another six, 12, 18 months.”