Essendon Bombers

Merciless Dockers Pound Flagging Bombers
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth.

The Fremantle Dockers withstood a determined challenge from the Essendon Bombers, to dominate in the final quarter and score a morale boosting victory in energy sapping conditions. The mercury had risen to 87 degrees (Fahrenheit) by the first bouncedown, but the real heat was applied by the Essendon Bombers who were single-minded in their attack on the ball.

No Essendon Saga in 2017? Guess Again!
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Just when everyone thought the Essendon supplements saga was done and dusted, it has reared its dubious head once again. Ironically, it has been just about exactly four years since the Bombers came out and "self-reported" with a request that the AFL investigate the 2012 supplements program. Now, Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper has obtained audio recordings of a crisis meeting which was held in August of 2013. Present at that meeting were chairman Paul Little (chairman), Jame Hird (coach), Mark Thompson (asst coach) and Danny Corcoran (football manager). The meeting was held to discuss the charges laid against the 34 players. The quartet are furious, believing the AFL had betrayed them and gone back on their word that the players would not be charged. In expletive-riddled conversations, all four express their anger at the league.

No Fond Memories of Fitzpatrick For Some
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 by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

While many will remember Mike Fitzpatrick fondly for all the positives he accomplished during his time as chairman, there are some who are not so happy. At the announcement of his retirement from the AFL Commission, Fitzpatrick said of the Essendon saga, "I think it was a really difficult issue, what happened was difficult, it should never have happened. But I am totally comfortable with the way we dealt with it ... I felt – as different events unfolded – the commission and the AFL dealt with them as they came, dealt with them under their processes ... ".

AFL Chairman Fitzpatrick Retires
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago 

After over 20 years of service with the AFL Commission, Mike Fitzpatrick has announced his retirement. He has been Commission chairman for over 10 years and a member of the Commission since 2003 after an illustrious career with Carlton. He said with the Western Bulldogs' premiership, the introduction of the AFLW and the early purchase of Etihad Stadium, it was the right time to step aside. He said the highlight and greatest achievement of his tenure was the six-year $2.5 billion broadcast deal signed last year, "The size of it and the scale of it and what it does for the code is a great achievement."

James Hird In Hospital
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago 

On the night of January 3, former Essendon coach James Hird was rushed to a hospital in suburban Melbourne to be treated for a drug overdose. He was later transferred to another facility for treatment. Whether or not the overdose was deliberate or accidental is unknown. The hospital to which he was taken would not reveal anything regarding the incident or Hird's condition due to patient confidentiality rules. A spokesperson for Ambulance Victoria also refused to comment.

Dank Appeal Tossed
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 by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Stephen Dank's appeal against his lifetime ban from international sports was set for November 21. However, the day before the hearing he emailed his former attorney that he would be unable to attend due to a family member being seriously ill in the hospital. He, in turn, notified lawyers for the AFL and ASADA and requested an adjournment. After 45 minutes of deliberation, board chairman Peter O'Callaghan announced the rescheduling of the hearing for December 1, contingent on Dank providing evidence from the hospital concerned and attending physician by November 26. This went against the request by the attorneys that the appeal be immediately dismissed due to their skepticism regarding Dank's latest excuse.

Jobe Watson Loses 2012 Brownlow Medal
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

 The AFL Commission was scheduled to meet on November 15 to discuss, among other things, whether or not to strip Jobe Watson of his 2012 Brownlow Medal. However, about a week before the meeting Watson decided to return the medal himself. He said he had "mixed emotions" regarding his decision. Now the Commission will decide whether or not to award the medal retrospectively to the two runners-up in Sam Mitchell and Dustin Martin. 

Banned Bombers Lose Appeal
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 by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The Swiss Court For Arbitration in Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by the 34 former and current Essendon players. The player were initially cleared by the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal, but WADA's appeal to CAS overturned that verdict and the players then launched their appeal against the banishment. With the penalty backdated to account for procedural delays, the players were effectively ruled out of the entire 2016 season.

Jobe Watson Will Play On
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

There has been speculation throughout 2016 about whether or not Essendon's Jobe Watson would return to the Bombers or walk away from the game. The supplements saga and resulting one-year banishment had taken a heavy toll on him and he left Australia to travel and get away from football.

Eagles Beat Brave Bombers
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium Perth, Australia

This was meant to be a game where the result was never in doubt. West Coast at home are a formidable team, who despite recently capitulation to Adelaide, were expected to blow the Bombers away by a huge margin. The pregame highlight for the West Coast fans was the lap of honor performed by the 2006 Premiership team marking the tenth anniversary of the club’s third premiership. Daniel Chick and David Wirrpanda carry the 2006 Premiership cup during a parade of the Premiership team before the game against the Bombers. David Woodley for AFANA.

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