Essendon Coach James Hird.
Essendon Coach James Hird. Vince Caligiuri / Getty Images

James Hird reads children's books as media waits for verdict

ESSENDON coach James Hird has spent the morning reading children's books as a media scrum awaits the outcome of an anti-doping report.

"So we don't have to start speculating on which books, Hird is still expected to front the media,'' one bored journalist tweeted.

Some fans, presumably from overseas, went to bed only to find the drama, still unresolved this afternoon. A decision was widely tipped for 9am with Sunrise even extending its coverage.

That resulted in complaints from people about how long they could put up with David Koch.

The Herald Sun is reporting that AFL and Essendon club officials have been locked in talks over possible sanctions against the club.

Earlier Tuesday,  Hird said he will be  "staggered and shocked" if the AFL decided to lay charges based on the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's interim report into the club's 2012 supplement program.

"None of our players has shown they've taken performance enhancing drugs; none of our players has shown that they've been been harmed by anything that's been given," he told reporters outside his Melbourne home.

"We're dealing with an interim report. The report's not finalised.

"We're all sitting back staggered and shocked that any charges could possibly be laid on those points.

"Our football club is the greatest football club in Australia and we're going to protect its name".

Assistant coach Mark Thompson told Fox Footy on Monday night: "It's your whole life, and not just your life. It's your kids and your family and it will be remembered forever," Thompson said.

"I don't want it on my tombstone."

Earlier, sports scientist Stephen Dank said it would be "ludicrous" if James Hird, Dr Bruce Reid and Danny Corcoran were charged today by the AFL for conduct unbecoming.

The Herald Sun reports that the key Essendon trio have been told they can expect to be charged by the AFL, along with the club, over last year's supplements program run by sports scientist Dank and former high-performance manager Dean Robinson.

An announcement is expected on Tuesday morning.

Dank claims the coach, the club doctor and the head of football did everything to ensure the health and safety of the players throughout a supplements program Dank admitted was "cutting edge".

"They've done nothing disreputable, they've done nothing contrary to the WADA prohibited list, they only endeavoured to take Essendon on a cutting-edge program, a program I might add that wasn't pharmacologically experimental, might I add was far from exotic and might I say at all times had the players' welfare and wellbeing as its first and foremost consideration."

He described as "bullcrap" any suggestion Hird, Reid or Corcoran failed in their duty of care.



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