Former Essendon coach James Hird has slammed the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to hand 12-month bans to 34 current and former players, labelling it a “miscarriage of justice”.
CAS upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency’s appeal against the AFL tribunal decision to clear 34 players of taking the banned substance thymosin-beta 4 while Hird was coach.
“I am shocked by this decision,” Hird said in a statement.
“This is a miscarriage of justice for the 34 young men.”
Hird, who served a 12-month suspension for his part in the supplements saga, resigned as coach in August.
“I firmly believe the players do not deserve this finding,” Hird said.
“They do not deserve to face a 12-month suspension from the sport.
“I will not be making any further comment today. I intend to make further comment later in the week.”
Twelve Bombers players including skipper Jobe Watson, Dyson Heppell, Cale Hooker and Michael Hurley have been banned.
Five are at other clubs – Jake Carlisle (St Kilda), Stewart Crameri (Western Bulldogs), Jake Melksham (Melbourne) and Port Adelaide pair Angus Monfries and Paddy Ryder.