Conversation overheard at Essendon Football Club, Tullamarine, Friday 13/6/14
EFC Player: Hey, have you got a sec to talk about these ASADA notices, confidentially. These ‘Show Cause’ letters?
EFC Official: Sure, come in and shut the door.
Player: Look, I’m really worried about this.
Official: So are we, last time this happened, we missed out on the finals and Hirdy got stood down. How he’s surviving in France with just that $1 million lump sum and a guaranteed job in August I can’t imagine.
Player: No, I was talking more about me.
Official: Oh you’ve got nothing to worry about, it’s all a joke, we’ll look after you.
Player: Well, that’s just the thing, I’m not sure and I’m worried.
Official: Why, haven’t we always arranged free shoes, hoodies and drink cards?
Player: The thing is, what if I have to prove I didn’t take drugs, I don’t know what to do.
Official: No worries, that’s where you’re in good hands. We’ll make sure it never gets to that.
Player: But I was injected with something. What was it?
Official: Excuse me?
Player: Can you tell me what Dr Dank injected me with?
Official: Well, we know it was nothing illegal
Player: How are you sure?
Official: Because you signed a stat dec saying it was fine to be injected and you wouldn’t have done that if it was illegal, would you.
Player: But I wasn’t sure what I was being given. And, now I’m worried that Dr Dank didn’t know what he was giving me.
Official: He wouldn’t have given you anything dodgy.
Player: How can you be sure?
Official: Because he was a good bloke, who wouldn’t do anything wrong. We rang up a few people who worked with him, they all said he was a good bloke and wouldn’t do anything wrong, so that’s how we know.
Player: But he was at Cronulla and they seem in trouble.
Official: I must admit, we didn’t call them.
Player: Can we just ask him?
Official: He isn’t talking to us anymore. Since we sacked him.
Player: So what was I injected with?
Official: Definitely nothing illegal.
Player: So what was it called?
Official: Not absolutely sure I can answer that correctly and accurately right here and now.
Player: Why not
Official: Because we aren’t completely sure
Player: So how do you know it was safe?
Official: Because we wouldn’t do anything to harm you.
Player: What if you did, by accident
Official: How could that happen?
Player: Maybe Dank was doing whatever he wanted; running a private unchecked program that flouted the law and now won’t simply come out and tell the drug people what he did? Or maybe the club asked him to do something that was skating close to the edge, because we committed to do “Whatever it takes?”
Official: Small point, we don’t use that slogan anymore, it’s now all about the sash, that’s the campaign
Player: But this was in 2012. Look, I’m really worried I could be seen as a drug cheat?
Official: Never. Drug cheats are Chinese swimmers, or Tour de France cyclists, the ones that beat Cadel. And any Aussie that took stuff was pressured by Lance Armstrong. Jeez, I hate that bloody Lance Armstrong.
Player: What if we simply asked Doc Reid, he’ll know? Can’t he clear our names?
Official: Ah, no, Doc wasn’t involved.
Player: So we injected players, off-site, as part of a club arranged medical process, but didn’t include the Doc, who has been here forever.
Official: That’s right.
Player: So, how will you look after me then?
Official: We’ll hit them with everything we have legally. We will go to court saying that the investigation is wrong. That the AFL was involved. That ASADA has taken too long. That this is unfair on you. That we are good blokes who would never hurt our boys. We’ll get injunctions that mean we’ll still play finals. We get the Pres out there on radio. We’ll get money from sponsors, we’ll get that Sideburns refugee advocate bloke who did well with Hirdy. We get Tania back on the 7.30 Report. We’ll blame The Weapon. We’ll threaten to haul Andy D into court. We’ll say it was a political show. We’ll tie it up in court for ages. We’ll get stories to Robbo, talk to Sam Newman, get the public on our side.
Player: Why don’t you just simply tell them that what I was injected with was legal?
Official: Because we don’t know what we injected you with. But we are sure it was legal.
Player: Listen, I may be just 21 years old and I’d do anything to realise my dream of playing AFL at the highest level. And I love being paid to do what I enjoy. But I have the potential stigma of being a drug cheat hanging over me, of being suspended, my career being over, losing my income, allegations tainting me, all my friends here at the club being affected to. All because you let a bloke who you didn’t know enough about, run a program that looks dodgy, that the club either didn’t know about it or if you did, you allowed to happen, but didn’t involve the doctor. I was pressured into being injected and I’ve been let down by people I trusted. You guys know how far I have run in a game, or at training, you know my daily mood and feelings as I fill in a form each morning when I get here, you track my diet, tell me who I can be friends with, make me watch countless video reviews, fine me if I am late to a meeting, and tell me what I can say to the media. But you can’t tell me what you repeatedly injected into my arm?
Official: Whatever it was, it wouldn’t have been illegal. Trust me.
Player: (slams the door as he leaves)
Official: Hang on, you haven’t given $10 to Hirdy’s benefit fund, have you seen how expensive living in France is these days? Come back, sign the card!
I don’t know, kids these days. Whatever happened to trust.
See the Bombers fly up, up…..
FADE TO BLACK (AND RED)