Paddy Ryder

Racism at Adelaide v Port Adelaide Match Condemned
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The round three Showdown match between Adelaide and Port Adelaide was marred by several unsavory incidents. Which came first is unknown but there was a brawl between a number of spectators in the stands and verbal racial abuse directed at Crow Eddie Betts (who had a banana thrown at him in 2016 - the perpetrator had her membership revoked) and Paddy Ryder. Both clubs have issued statements condemning the incidents and are working with the AFL, Adelaide Oval management, and police

Essendon Sign Seven AFL Says No To Other Clubs
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The Bulldogs, Saints, Demons and Port Adelaide have all been denied their request to the AFL to replace their suspended players with an extra primary player (from the recent national draft) or rookie listed player. AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said the circumstances did not call for special treatment or exception to the rules beyond those already granted - upgrading a rookie listed player to the senior list.

What's Next For Essendon and AFL
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

THE FALLOUT

For the immediate present, the two biggest issues facing Essendon are replacing the suspended players and whether or not Jobe Watson keeps his 2012 Brownlow Medal. The league has already put provisions in place for replacement players for Essendon as well as Melbourne, Port Adelaide, St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs. For the latter four, they can upgrade rookies to their a rookie to their respective senior lists to replace the suspended players.

Of course, it is a bit more complicated for Essendon. However, the AFL had held meetings with Essendon and the AFLPA and came up with several resolutions:

World Court: Essendon 34 Guilty
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago 

Essendon's worst fears were realized on January 11 with the Court of Arbitration for Sport finding 34 past and present players guilty of taking banned substance Thymosin Beta-4. Even with backdating and time served during the provisional suspensions, the active players in both the AFL and at other levels of competition are banished until mid-November. The suspensions also mean no contact whatsoever or training with their respective clubs.Twelve of the 34 are still at Essendon while the others have either retired, been delisted and gone elsewhere or traded.

What Next For Bombed Out Bombers?
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Bombers coach James Hird celebrates with the fans after the Round 14, 2013 game played at Patersons Stadium. Photo by David Woodley for AFANA.There are three types of coaches - those who quit, those who have been sacked and those who will be sacked, with very few exceptions to the rule. In the earliest days of Australian Football there were no senior coaches. Team captains gave instructions on the field and acted as de facto coaches at training sessions. The first official senior coach was Jack Worrall who was appointed Carlton coach in 1902. Of course being the first senior coach appointed, he was also the first who was fired. He went on to be reinstated after the bookkeeping kerfuffle which saw him axed was sorted out and he was absolved of blame (he was also club secretary at the time). And so it has been ever since. If a team

Tribunal Announces Essendon Decision
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

THE VERDICT IS IN - NOT GUILTY
The saga that has lasted over two years is finally over with the Anti-Doping Tribunal clearing all 34 players involved in the supplements program.The verdict was unanimous and in a statement Tribunal Chairman David Jones spelled out the reasons:

  • The Tribunal was comfortably satisfied that the substance Thymosin Beta-4 was at the relevant time a prohibited substance under the Code.
  • The Tribunal was not comfortably satisfied that any player was administered Thymosin Beta-4.
  • The Tribunal was not comfortably satisfied that any player violated clause 11.2 of the Anti-Doping Code.

The statement also said that a decision regarding "a former Essendon support person" (read: Stephen Dank) would be made at a later date. Whether or not the full 133-page decision document or part of it will be made public is left up to the players, the club and their lawyers. Leaked copies have apparently reached some in the media. In summary, the panel conceded there was insufficient evidence against the players to establish that they had taken TB-4 and it could not be established that the substance they were injected with was in fact, TB-4. The credibility of the key individuals involved was so low and the chain of custody and record keeping so suspect, exactly what was injected could not be proven.

Essendon Contingency Plans
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

February 9 to 12, 2015
After a week of uncertainty and speculation, Essendon will field a team in the NAB Cup preseason games. It was rumored that the Bombers might boycott the preseason games, a “one in, all in” scenario. This boycott was for several potential reasons. The first was to protect the anonymity of the “supplements” players (provisionally suspended while the Tribunal considers its decision and ASADA's refusal to leave the suspensions backdated if the players took part in the NAB Challenge). The players involved wanted the suspensions backdated to when they last played in September of 2014.  As a result, they dropped their request to have the provisional suspensions lifted by the AFL Commission which has the power to do so. Bombers Dustin Fletcher and Jobe Watson are already at risk of losing part of the backdating due to the AFL allowing them to play in the International Rules Series late in 2014.

AFL Trade Action
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The two week trade period saw a lot of action and concluded on October 17. A number of players requested trades to other clubs while others were moved on reluctantly. Clubs also traded draft selections to strengthen their prospects in picking up needed players.

List Changes Announced
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

With the trade period soon to commence, several more clubs have announced changes to their lists.

Christian Howard, Tom Young and Brett Goodes have been delisted by the Western Bulldogs. Young was originally drafted by Collingwood and played nine games 2011-12 before being traded to the Bulldogs where he played a further 15 games. Goodes debuted in 2013 and played 15 games. He recently played in the Bulldogs VFL premiership win. Howard was drafted in 2009 but a hip injury wiped out the first half of 2010 and he spent the remainder of the year in the VFL. He debuted in 2011 and played six games. The young defender/wingman had an excellent preseason in 2012 before a knee injury sidelined him for six weeks. He came back to play 11 games. Named as an emergency six times, he managed only one game in 2013 and just seven more in 2014.

Essendon Loses ASADA Case
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Preliminary Final weekend was not only about the four teams vying for a chance to play in the Grand Final. Justice Middleton, who has been overseeing the Essendon-ASADA court case, handed down his decision after reviewing all the testimony presented in August. He ruled in favor of ASADA, saying all parts of the ASADA investigation had been lawful, including the provision of the interim report to the AFL. He also noted that neither Essendon, James Hird nor the players brought legal proceedings to challenge the provision of the interim report at the time.

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