AFLgate: Yet another inquiry into the previous government

Government sources last night expressed concern at the persistent involvement of Kate Lundy, Labor’s sports minister at the time, along with her advisers and senior departmental figures in discussions between ASADA and the AFL about how the investigation would run and the outcomes it could deliver.

It is understood a judicial or Senate inquiry will be established to examine whether ASADA failed to maintain its statutory independence from government after government ministers and sports chiefs were late year called to Canberra on the so-called blackest day in Australian sport.

Source.

Whether or not Essendon and James Hird will win their case against ASADA I don’t know. The problem to my mind is that they “self-reported” and “invited” a joint investigation. It appears from evidence presented in the court that they were coerced into doing so, but it that enough to invalidate the entire process?

On the other hand ASADA has come out of this looking like the plaything of both the AFL and the Gillard government. The Herald Sun outlines some of the AFL interventions:

What have we learnt about the AFL? It went to the prime minister’s office to expedite the process. It wanted an interim report to punish Essendon, despite being warned it could not use its contents for that purpose.

It wanted the interim report before the player interviews were completed. It wanted the interim report to paint an ugly, drug-infested environment at Essendon. It wanted to load up on the injection numbers. It wanted to omit evidence that didn’t suit its narrative from the interim report.

It wanted deals with the players in February. It wanted deals with Essendon and ASADA.

It wanted to isolate the coach because he wouldn’t take the deal.

Then there is ASADA – the former head didn’t seem to do well in court:

Andruska didn’t know about key meetings, didn’t have records about whether they were allowed to conduct joint interviews, didn’t know if the AFL cut and pasted from the interim report. She didn’t know when the AFL joined ASADA investigators in interviews, she wasn’t asked whether it could be done, she didn’t know what material had been given to the AFL in the interim report. She had delegated, she said.

“I don’t recall,’’ was the too common answer.

In this whole affair we’ve seen lots of heat but no light. So far there is no actual evidence of doping. The AFL was forced to concoct some story about “governance” and the former government was so desperate to find something, anything, that they started pressurising ASADA. What confidence can we have tat any of ASADAs evidence is uncontaminated by either the AFL or the Gillard government? Short answer? None.

How ASADA can survive this debacle I don’t know. Why ASADA should even exist is the even greater question. I can think of no reason why a publicly funded government agency should exist to police and investigate private rules of private organisations going about their private business.

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37 Responses to AFLgate: Yet another inquiry into the previous government

  1. whyisitso

    And you’re striving strenuously to get this mob back into government!

  2. Adam D

    Why ASADA should even exist is the even greater question. I can think of no reason why a publicly funded government agency should exist to police and investigate private rules of private organisations going about their private business.

    Indeed I feel we are always debating the wrong questions

  3. Sinclair Davidson

    No – I’m striving strenuously to ensure that the current mob improve their game and so don’t (a) simply become another iteration of the R-G-R government, or (b) becomes oncers. If (a) then I’m happy to see them lose.

  4. Rabz

    We need a definitive statement on this matter of great national importance from none other than that impartial, insightful analyst of both the game and its administration, Paul “mUttley” Montgomery.

    C’mon Sinc, unban the man, surely he’s spent enough time in the wilderness following his (admittedly impertinent) questioning of your stagflation predictions. :)

  5. Habib

    Hopefully this’ll be used to shitcan the whole pointless organisation, but I won’t hold my breath. There’s a legion of these worthless stat authorities that could be closed without legislation overnight, saving a heap of dough, and lifting some of the onerous burden on business and individuals; this crew are too cautious andd cowardly.

  6. whyisitso

    Not having the numbers in the Senate to reverse some of the RGR crap doesn’t make them as bad as RGR. RGR had effective control of both houses for their whole 7 years of ruining this country. With “friends” like you…

  7. Sinclair Davidson

    RGR had effective control of both houses for their whole 7 years of ruining this country.

    Yes, I agree.

    With “friends” like you…

    I agree again – they need to work harder to gain my friendship because I’m worse than their nominal enemies.

  8. Sinclair Davidson

    C’mon Sinc, unban the man

    Rabz, I am generous to a fault. But once a decision is made I tend to stick with it. I have already changed my mind on an important issue once this century and I’m trying not to make a habit of it.

  9. Rabz

    whole 7 years

    Wrong. It just felt like that.

    The scumbags were in ‘government’ from November 2007 until September 2013, a period of less than six years.

  10. Sinclair Davidson

    It felt longer than 7 years.

  11. Rabz

    Stranger things have happened across the course of human history, Sinc.

  12. Tom

    I have already changed my mind on an important issue once this century and I’m trying not to make a habit of it.

    Thank God for that.

    What are you smoking, Rabz?

  13. JC

    Sinc

    How about a comeo, just on this thread? Fatboy is going nuts in the forest, as he only has Homer Paxton and Stepford to talk to.

  14. steve

    ASADA has been compromised, so like the ABC, it should not exist.

    We have watched Essendon lose Robson, Evans and Hamilton that I know of over bad governance charges and that is the sole issue that they were punished for, no proven drugs, no evidence at all. The AFL lost only Dimetriou and that was willingly or so he says (I have my doubts). What has happened over the last few days is that the charge sheet on the AFL has gone from “bad governance” to “breaking the law as defined in the ASADA Act”. So to follow the lines of Patrick Smith and Caro Wilson, we should demand that all AFL officials that were part of this should be terminated. This means you, Gill!

    Give our game back to the people and join the fat, hairy Greek in his (rumoured) run for a safe Labor seat.

  15. Dr Faustus

    An inquiry into whether Lundy/Clare played Australian sport into cheap retail politics to try to save Gillard’s rotting carcass is about as necessary as a Royal Commission into the cause of WWII.

    The missing piece in this whole mess is the role of the Australian Crime Commission – which ran the Project Aperio investigation that (apparently) identified the wholesale corruption of Australian sport, widespread use of drugs, involvement of organised crime, match fixing and a national health risk. And also coordinated the festival of the Blackest Day in Australian Sport.

    If ASADA is a politically-driven fuckup: why isn’t the ACC?

  16. Badjack

    Patrick Smith @ The Australian is still working overtime supporting the Gillard, ASADA,Demetriou line. He is really struggling to face the reality of what is now transpiring. A classic example of a journo never being able to admit they got it wrong and backed the wrong horse.

  17. Token

    Government sources last night expressed concern at the persistent involvement of Kate Lundy, Labor’s sports minister at the time, along with her advisers and senior departmental figures in discussions between ASADA and the AFL about how the investigation would run and the outcomes it could deliver.

    I know everything depends on how the terms of reference as set, but it is not hard to see how the new “old boys” network which seems to run the government & semi-government enterprises in Melbourne may be exposed to some sunlight at long last through this process.

  18. amortiser

    Essendon would have a case to have ASADA struck down as the Commonwealth has no head of power to set it up under S51 of the Constitution. In this case Essendon has standing as it is being targeted by that body.
    The chaplains case brings a whole host of federal government programs and bodies into serious question.

  19. Leigh Lowe

    What are you smoking, Rabz?

    There is no evidence that Rabz is smoking anything.
    However, there is a strong circumstantial case that Rabz has exercised poor governance practices over smoking materials, consumables and accoutrements.

  20. Infidel Tiger

    It is somewhat strange that Numbers posts here, but m0nty is banned.

    Monty is a good guy.

  21. Leigh Lowe

    “Monty is a good guy.”

    Are you downwind of the Nimbin bong shop fire IT?

  22. Token

    …as the Commonwealth has no head of power to set it up under S51 of the Constitution

    I thought ASADA has been provided powers with less controls than the law enforcement agencies due to the fact it is administering breaches of laws built within “international treaties”.

    Wouldn’t such a challenge once again pit the powers of our elected government and constitution against the powers of foreign committees which exist through the international treaty system?

    The Labor-Lite government chose not to pick a fight like this recently when it decided not to challenge a ruling by an international body which proves to so many people such agencies have greater juristiction over Tasmanian forests than the Tasmanian and Australian governments.

  23. Leigh Lowe

    I don’t know the personality of Justice Middleton.
    However, having seen examples of the low shit tolerance most beaks have for being pre-empted by barristers, I thought the ASADA QC was playing with fire yesterday when he basically told the court that, if Middleton found against them, they would just lay charges again using the illegally obtained “evidence”.
    I think they may find that Middleton hog-ties them good and proper.

  24. Token

    What are you smoking, Rabz?

    There is no evidence that Rabz is smoking anything.

    That is the type of frivolous technicality which ASADA would cavelierly ignore if they believed they could help the ALP distract the media from a story of corruption or a leadership challenge.

  25. Ant

    If R-G-R had had a Sinc or two in their lives maybe they wouldn’t have behaved like destructive toddlers cut loose in the fine crystal department at DJs.

    Instead they had newborns advising them and arse-licking media sychophants telling them how well behaved littlies they were and please give us more of the same because they’re just so cute and adorable.

  26. Token

    If R-G-R had had a Sinc or two in their lives maybe they wouldn’t have behaved like destructive toddlers cut loose in the fine crystal department at DJs.

    They also wouldn’t have survived in the Liars Party.

    Along those lines, did you notice Manboobs made sure Kim Il Carr & Red Underpants skip the normal pre-selection process yesterday?

  27. Sinclair Davidson

    ASADA would be established under the foreign affairs power.

  28. steve

    Monty is a good guy.

    He is a HAWTHORN supporter!!

  29. The missing piece in this whole mess is the role of the Australian Crime Commission

    I named my Supercoach leage “ACC Got Nuthin”. 18 months on – nothing but crickets.

  30. Just A View

    Spot on Badjack (12:03pm). Smith’s effort today was the beginning of him starting to change his tune. Don’t worry he’ll end up on the winners side (if there are any winners in this whole pathetic episode)!

  31. Rococo Liberal

    Why should ASADA exist? Because in the decline of the West the lefties have taken on a hatred for trade and insists that there are lots of cushy government jobs for their moronic children. so they can be protected from working for those ‘evil’ corporations. It’s part of the left’s feeble attempt to pretend that they have any class or culture.

  32. Up The Workers!

    Perhaps A.S.A.D.A. would be better employed policing the use of drugs within the upper-level membership of the A.L.P.?

    If they have sufficient staff to do the job, there would be a lifetime’s work just there, as the A.L.P.’s involvement with drugs, goes back a long, long, long way.

    A.S.A.D.A. and the A.L.P. would be a good match, too – they both show about the same degree of competence, comical performance and mis-handling of the truth.

  33. mundi

    I am willing to bet that the AFL ‘sees to it’ that Essendon does not make the finals this year.

    EFC should just go and get a judge to say ASADA is unconstitutional. Because it is. Or have we become America where the constitution does not matter.

  34. Saltwater

    Abbott could pick up five points in the popularity polls tomorrow by cutting off ASADA’s funding, and making a recommendation the nations sporting codes should separate their governance and administrative responsibilities. Ten points if he can wait til finals time, just around the corner.

    What’s Bill Shorten got to say on all this by the way, the staunch Bombers supporter he surely must be?

  35. Menai Pete

    The ‘Blackest Day in Australian Sport’ was part of a longer term Government media stunt to demonise our professional sportsmen and sportswomen. It started on 16 October 2012 with a press release from Kate Lundy and Jason Clare titled “New partnership to tackle doping in sport”.
    That press release announced “Minister for Sport Kate Lundy and Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice Jason Clare today announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Australian Sports Anti‐Doping Authority (ASADA) and the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) to protect the integrity of sport.”
    http://www.asada.gov.au/publications/media/ministerial_media_releases/ministerial_release_121016_new_partnership_to_tackle_doping.pdf
    Lundy also referred to this in her blog on the same day:
    http://www.katelundy.com.au/2012/10/29/tackling-doping-in-sport/
    The joint press conference with Lundy and Clare parading the (male) sports CEOs like recalcitrant schoolboys to defame every sporting person in Australia was on 7 February 2013 - less than 4 months after the MoU was signed. But at that media conference they claimed that the ACC Report was the result of a 12 month investigation. So were the investigators working for 12 months or 4 months?

  36. Pedro

    I’ve no doubt ASADA will survive. Too many pollies on both sides have invested in the myth. Gillard will get the blame and ASADA will be protected.

    It’s clear to me that govt prestige is a great danger to freedom and good govt.

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