Overheard at Essendon – Part 4: The spreadsheet of truth (WADA, WADA, WADA)

The fourth in a series of covertly taped conversations between one of the 34 Essendon players mentioned as being part of the injection program and an unnamed Essendon Official at the Essendon training centre. Recorded 12.05pm, Thursday 14th May 2015

Player: (knocks) Have you got a sec?

Official: Yeah sure come in. Hey, haven’t we talked before? A few times?

Player: Yes, we’ve talked about my fears, my feeling of being let down, my confusion, my anger, and how the club probably hasn’t looked after me particularly well through this sorry saga.

Official: I remember you now. Cranky bloke, won’t put in for gifts. You must be happy now though?

Player: How so?

Official: Well, you guys got off. I mean, were found innocent.

Player: I think the innocent part is a bit rich. I think they pretty much said they weren’t sure and it couldn’t be proved.

Official: Right. Innocent. See? What is it with you and Gerard Whateley?

Player: They used words like not comfortably satisfied, they didn’t say yes or no, just a lot of not sure.

Official: Well, not sure is a lot better than guilty isn’t it?

Player: It’s not as good as innocent though.

Official: We’ve been over this many times son, you didn’t take anything illegal.

Player: And you can reassure me and confirm that how?

Official: Because if ASADA didn’t have any test results and couldn’t prove it, it didn’t happen.

Player: But it did happen.

Official: What happened?

Player: The injections.

Official: Oh, them.

Player: Yes, them. That’s what you all seem to be forgetting. I was injected, that’s not disputed. Injected repeatedly, by a guy now banned for life from footy, in fact from any sport. Offsite, sneakily away from the club, without the doctor knowing. He injected me, had relations with people with convictions and dodgy chemists who wouldn’t appear, bought stuff from China, kept lousy notes, has never come out under oath and said what I took. I was told to trust him, a guy now discredited, that the club wants no part of, and couldn’t have anything to do with even if they wanted to. He injected me, consistently, with something we are not sure of. Yes, those injections.

Official: What’s your point?

Player: Now WADA’s involved.

Official: WADA? We beat ASADA, WADA will be a breeze.

Player: How do you figure that?

Official: They are based in Montreal, they hear cases in Switzerland. They don’t know anything about footy.

Player: They deal with issues in major world sports, the Olympics, cycling, soccer, huge matters. I think they can lend themselves to AFL.

Official: Plus, they haven’t dealt with Paul Little before. He’ll tie them up in knots, get all lawyered up, you watch.

Player: Yes I’m sure that in major American sports, European soccer and athletics, WADA have never faced a litigious millionaire before.

Official: See, you get it.

Player: What I get is that after the AFL said they just weren’t sure, and we thought we were free of this, it is here again. And this time, there’s no comeback if they decide against us.

Official: You’ll be right. I keep telling you. There’s new evidence.

Player: The spreadsheet you mean?

Official: Yeah, the spreadsheet. That says what you took. Open and shut case. Bomber and Hirdy both saw it.

Player: So the defence we will mount, is that even though we’ve never said what I took or we don’t know for sure, and this was done with poor record keeping, away from club doctors, by a thoroughly crooked doctor with dodgy links, and our governance and paperwork was so bad that we got fined and thrown out of the finals, that a single sheet of paper that says at the top that what I got wasn’t banned will be our sole defence? Please tell me that my career, reputation, ability to earn an income as well as my mental stability is based on more than an excel spreadsheet?

Official: Ah…hasn’t it been wet recently?

Player: Right. Great. So the highest court in sport, that presides over major international cases, takes gold medals off athletes, can decide who is in a national team or not, oversees world sporting activities, has had a hand in ongoing and long running doping matters all over the world, and can challenge and increase sentences and penalties already handed down, not to mention start cases again like ours, will be getting a sheet of A4 paper saying I am fine.

Official: A3 actually. That’s bigger so it’s clearer to read. Also, there were 34 of you so we needed a big piece of paper

Player: Forgive my crankiness as you call it, but I feel let down.

Official: What do you mean? We got you off?

Player: We should never have been placed in the situation that we needed to be got off anything! The injection program should never have happened. That’s what people forget. You are saying that the spreadsheet shows what I took. Why are we relying on a sheet kept of offsite injections run by Dank away from the doctor and club officials, that the CEO and President at the time weren’t aware of, that we can’t explain. Why did it get to this? Why can’t anyone tell me what I was injected with, legal or not?

Official: How many times do I have to tell you? It wasn’t illegal, the AFL and ASADA didn’t say it was, we wouldn’t do that!

Player: You let me down.

Official: Let you down? We look after you, pay you, give you the chance to play footy, what kid doesn’t want that.

Player: You failed in your duty of care.

Official: Care? Care for you? I’m not your bloody mum buddy.

Player: You tell me what to do and when to do it. You tell me what to eat and how much. You say trust me, I’ll look after you. You tell me when to sleep, and check how I slept. You tell me who I can be friends with. You tell me when to stop playing or training because it’s late and yell at me when I make mistakes. Sounds like a mum to me.

Official: Fine. I’m your mum now. So do as you are told. Stop worrying, you’ll be right, trust me, there’s a

spreadsheet, we didn’t give you anything wrong.

Player: Forgive me if I don’t believe you.

Official: Are you going to make a donation? There’s Hirdy’s farewell gift, Bomber’s welcome gift, Bomber’s farewell gift, Hirdy’s ‘have a nice time in Europe’ gift, his gift for passing the management course, his welcome back gift, making it to the finals gift, thanks to the legal team gift…

Player: (leaves, slamming door)

Official: That kid. I’ll get that $20 bucks out of him someday.


See the bombers fly up, up…..


Fade to Black (and red)

About Sean Curtain

"He was born with a gift of laughter, and a sense that the world was mad". First line of 'Scaramouche' by Sabatini, always liked that.


  1. Dave Brown says

    The spreadsheet that apparently only existed as one piece of paper, was not kept electronically and a copy was not taken before being handed to ASADA…

  2. Welcome back Sean. Why do you write this pisstakingly funny, insightful, accurate and critical stuff about Essendon, drugs, ASADA/WADA? Why don’t you save it for match reports like the rest of us?
    Oh that’s right.

  3. Tony Tea says

    You mean the spreadsheet they had but never bothered to submit in evidence first time around even though it would have cleared the 34? I’ve only got one word, well, one letter and one number actually: F2.

  4. Matt Watson says

    I hope this issue provides a distraction for the Bombers on Friday night…
    Great story Sean.
    It’s funny because it’s true.

  5. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great stuff Sean and just so true.Hird to star in Yes Prime Minister ?

  6. Bandwagon jumper says

    Really nice work mate. You are filling the void left by the mass media too scared to even discuss this questionable program because that would displease the games governing body. Enjoy your retirement Demetriou, you feel asleep at the wheel.

  7. E.regnans says

    Empathy is underrated.

  8. Brilliant!
    Captures the whole situation of the past 2 years accurately and so succinctly.
    Strong work Sean…..

  9. This guy is one hell of a writer

  10. Jesus that is brilliant..Great Writing and agree with Bandwagon Jumper that the Mainstream media should have reported it just like this.
    Robbo has lost me. Forever. He has the patch well and truly on when it comes to this issue and why in the hell is it anything to do with Demetriou. The AFL (Demetriou) did NOT systematically inject players. Essendon did. Hird knew about it. He should be gone. Sorry its as easy as that.
    I still cant believe Hird stated that the whole of Melbourne are “SHOCKED” WADA is taking this further. No James we are not.

  11. Absolutely brilliant! The best piece I have read on this entire saga. Summed up everything that is wrong with the behaviour of the EFC and Hird perfectly. It is both very funny and very ad at the same time.

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