James Hird’s troubled times

THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL OF JAMES HIRD

2010

August/September: Essendon sack Matthew Knights as senior coach, replacing him with club legend James Hird

2013

February 5: Following weeks of speculation, Essendon hold a media conference where they announce they are coming under AFL and ASADA investigation over supplements use at the club

April 12: Then AFL boss Andrew Demetriou says Hird has to consider standing down as the investigations continues into the supplements saga. Hird is adamant he will not step aside

August 13: Following the release of an interim ASADA report, the AFL charges Hird, assistant Mark Thompson, club doctor Bruce Reid, Bombers football manager Danny Corcoran and the club itself with bringing the game into disrepute

August 21: The AFL releases details of the charges it has laid. Hird and Bombers chairman Paul Little hold a media conference where they blast the league

August 27: After behind-the-scenes legal wranglings, the AFL hands down a series of penalties. Essendon are kicked out of the 2013 finals, fined $2 million and stripped of draft picks. Hird is suspended for 12 months

2014

March 20: Hird’s wife Tania, known to be furious at how her husband has been treated in the saga, claims in a TV interview that Demetriou tipped off Essendon before the supplements investigation started

June 13: Essendon and Hird launch Federal Court action against ASADA, saying the joint investigation into the Bombers was unlawful

September 19: Federal Court Justice John Middleton rules in favour of ASADA

October 2: Hird appeals to the Federal Court, but Essendon does not, straining the relationship between coach and club

2015

January 30: The Federal Court rules against Hird’s appeal

March 31: The AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal hands down a not guilty verdict, with chairman David Jones saying the panel was not satisfied any player had violated the AFL anti-doping code

August 18: With Essendon’s season in freefall following WADA’s decision to appeal the anti-doping tribunal verdict, Hird and the Bombers part ways

2016

January 12: The Court of Arbitration for Sport hands 12-month bans to 34 current and former Essendon players. Hird describes the decision as a “miscarriage of justice”

May 3: Hird is left facing legal bills of almost $700,000 when the Victorian Supreme Court dismisses his bid to have Essendon’s insurer pay for his failed legal challenge against ASADA

2017

January 5: Hird reportedly taken to hospital after suffering an overdose.

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