Essendon Football Club chairman David Evans has made the following statement today in relation to the allegations against James Hird:

"The allegations today are extremely serious and very distressing.

The Board is aware of irregular practices, and that is why we self-reported to ASADA and to the AFL.

The ASADA investigation commenced in early February, and we were advised by ASADA investigators that the club should not be doing our own investigation into the supplements program, but to leave the investigation and interviews with staff to ASADA.

We have complied withthat request and encouraged all our staff to cooperate with ASADA.

In the interim, the Board has commissioned Ziggy Switkowski to do a full review of our governance process, as well as commissioning independent medical and pharmacological advice as issues from 2012 become apparent.

I want to repeat that these allegations are very serious, and we want the ASADA investigation and its outcomes to be done as quickly as possible to assist us in making decisions.

On behalf of the Board I want to make it clear that if any person at our club has failed in their duty of care to the players then we will make the appropriate decisions on behalf of the Essendon Football Club."