The West

Bombers chairman looks for mercy over supplement review findings
Essendon chairman David Evans at today's press conference. Pic: Getty Images

Essendon chairman David Evans will throw himself at the mercy of club members at a special election in November as a result of the controversial supplement scandal.

Announcing the independent review findings and recommendations from Dr Ziggy Switkowski which revealed a significant breakdown in communications at the club, Evans apologised for the saga.

Evans, who is just over a year into a three-year term, said it was the right thing to give members the chance to have their say.

There will be no decision on CEO Ian Robson or coach James Hird until after the AFL and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigations are complete later this year.

Evans said the club had sought the advice of two pharmacology experts in recent months and were confident that no banned substances had been used.

Essendon’s players will be interviewed by ASADA this week.

Controversial bio-chemist Stephen Dank was not interviewed as part of the Essendon investigation.

"This is an uncomfortable report and it probably should be," Evans said.

"I am deeply sorry this has happened on my watch.

"I know how important this club is to its members and supporters, and I can only apologise that this series of events has happened.

"I want to apologise to our players and their families, to our members and supporters, and to the AFL community about what has happened at Essendon."

The report recommended a zero tolerance policy for risky-supplement programs.

“A club’s pharmacology skills should not normally be independently and secretly developed as a source of competitive advantage. And an arms race for the most sophisticated molecules must be prohibited.”

Essendon coach James Hird, front, and chairman David Evans leave the press conference today. Pic: Getty Images

The Switkowski report noted that the CEO “must be accountable for everything that happens within his organisation”.

“Coaches cannot bypass him, and boards must work through him,“ the report said.

“If commercial priorities consume his time and attention, steps must be taken to ensure proper oversight of football operations.”

It described the football operations role as a particularly difficult one.

Evans did not release the full version of the Switkowski report, although it will be made available to the AFL, ASADA and the Essendon board.

“But this is a critical appointment requiring a strong capable individual who has the respect of the football staff and the support of the CEO,” said the report.

The West Australian

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