Vic lawyer suing AFL over supplements saga

The AFL is being sued for allegedly misleading conduct during the Essendon supplements saga.


Lawyer Jackson Taylor has filed a writ in the Victorian Supreme Court alleging senior AFL figures knew Essendon was being investigated by the Australian Crime Commission before the club self-reported in February 2013.

On February 5 that year, Essendon held a media conference to say it had asked both the AFL and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) to investigate possible inappropriate use of supplements.

The writ claims former AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou told Essendon chairman David Evans the club was under investigation by the ACC some time before the February 5 announcement.

He further claims in the writ that current chief executive Gillon McLachlan met Essendon on February 5 and told them they would be required to hold a press conference announcing they had requested the investigation.

It alleges the club only requested the AFL and Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority conduct a joint investigation into the club after being alerted to the ACC investigation.

The writ says the AFL and its officers have repeatedly claimed Essendon self-reported.

It names the AFL, AFL chairman Michael Fitzpatrick and chief executive Gillon McLachlan as defendants.

Mr Taylor says Mr Fitzpatrick repeatedly stated Essendon had self-reported.

These statements were deceptive or misleading, Mr Taylor says in the writ.

Mr Taylor is seeking injunctions against all three defendants.

He has set up a website, in which he seeks donations for a “fighting fund” and legal help.

An AFL spokesman says the action is a waste of time and could end up costing all clubs in the league.

“This is a misguided legal action,” the spokesman said.

“Mr Taylor’s action has the potential to damage the club that he professes to care about, and to waste football’s time and money, the cost of which will ultimately be borne by the 18 clubs and our supporters.”