by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Former Bomber Nathan Lovett-Murray is set to file a civil suit against the AFL as a result of the Essendon supplements saga, regardless of the outcome of the ASADA hearings. Currently playing for a local club, he is one of the 34 players who may or may not have been injected with Thymosin beta-4. Like the others, he could be facing a two year ban if the hearings rule in favor of ASADA.
His manager, Peter Jess, said Lovett-Murray was exploring “several legal options” and that AFL officials were negligent in their "duty of care" for failing to intervene in the supplements program, even though the League had suspicions that the club was going to embark on such a program. According to Jess, a meeting was held in 2011 at which the AFL's integrity officer Brett Clothier warned several Essendon officials, including James Hird, against using peptides. Jess said this - and the fact that the League sent blood samples from the players to Germany in 2012 - was proof the AFL knew (or at least suspected) an experiment with supplements. He also contends that the AFL failed its own mandate of player welfare and safety by not taking some sort of action, including approaching the AFLPA. Jess, who also managed current Bomber captain Jobe Watson, said the players' rights had been trampled on and that other players had also sought legal advice.
Asked why Lovett-Murray wouldn’t sue Essendon, Jess said the ultimate responsibility was with the AFL and the AFL Commissions as the "principal employers" of the players. "There should have been occupational health and safety audits and a follow up by the ... integrity department ... No player should ever be put in the same position as these Essendon players.”
Lovett-Murray may not be alone in filing suit. According to Jess, the others could also sue for "significant amounts” in damages.
Article last changed on Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - 9:54 AM EST