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Hird focused on football as club seeks to limit ASADA damage

Callum Twomey  July 5, 2013 10:44 AM


James Hird is keen to see the ASADA investigation over within the next month

I think we all look forward to the day that this investigation is finished, the report is released and we can all deal with the facts
JAMES Hird says he is not concerned about the prospect of Essendon losing premiership points as an outcome of the investigation into the club's supplements use in 2012.

Amid new reports linking the Bombers to more substances, Hird expressed no fears that the club would be stripped of its match points when the ASADA investigation is completed next month.

"I'm not," Hird said when pressed on whether he was concerned the flag contenders could lose the points.

"But I'm not here to give a running commentary on everything that's said."

The Bombers coach was reluctant to say much more, despite the club's chairman David Evans releasing a statement on Thursday saying the club had sought independent advice which said banned drug AOD-9604 was not performance enhancing.

"I'll leave that to David. I think it's a responsibility of the board to talk at that level and I'm here to talk about football," Hird said on Friday.

"I think the club is well in its rights to put some facts on the table."

Hird did not comment on fresh claims from Fairfax Media on Friday, which reported a paper trail suggests the Bombers were billed for 'thymosin peptide'. 

The drug, thymosin beta 4 has been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency since at least 2011.

Hird said he was looking forward to the opportunity to speak when the investigation wrapped up.

"As the AFL and David Evans have stated, this investigation will be finished in four weeks. We can't wait to get that done and we'll wait until the four weeks is up and the investigation is finished and the report is written before we respond," he said.

"I think we all look forward to the day that this investigation is finished, the report is released and we can all deal with the facts."

Hird expected his side to continue its excellent form against Port Adelaide on Sunday, despite the off-field saga again dominating headlines.

"I think our football has been very high quality all year and we'll go about it the same way," Hird said.

Earlier this week, AFL football operations boss Mark Evans told the AFL Commission could decide to strip Essendon of its premiership points as an outcome of the ASADA investigation.

"It is certainly within the scope of the commission to do that, but it will be a commission decision once it has been tabled," Evans said on Monday.

"There is a range of possibilities if the commission decided there was a breach that needed to be acted on.

"That could include a whole range of things from fines, draft picks ... it could be dealing with individuals and anything else."