29 Aug 2013

AFL comes down hard on Essendon over supplements saga

7:36 am on 29 August 2013

The Essendon Australian Rules club has been hit with the biggest set of sanctions in AFL history, including a 12-month ban for coach James Hird, over the club's suspect 2012 supplements programme.

The Bombers have been thrown out of this year's finals despite having earned a top-eight position, fined $2 million, stripped of draft picks for the next two years, and had key officials banned or fined for conduct unbecoming and bringing the game into disrepute.

The AFL Commission chairman Mike Fitzpatrick says the Bombers set up a supplements programme that was "experimental, inappropriate and inadequately vetted and controlled" and failed to protect the health, welfare and safety of players.