Emergency Essendon meeting planned

Tim and Susie Watson, parents of Essendon skipper Jobe, arrive for a management meeting at Essendon in February. Photo: Joe Armao Essendon captain Jobe Watson. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
Nanjing Night Net

‘This will be heard’: Demetriou

Essendon has called another emergency meeting of parents and partners of the club’s playing group in the wake of the latest drug revelations surrounding the Bombers.

The club is facing a backlash from concerned families of players – particularly from a number of partners who have become pregnant over the past two seasons.

According to a former senior club figure, a number of players have kept some of their medical records – including blood tests – and are now seeking independent medical advice.

“I know of several players who have taken blood tests outside of the club in the past few months,” said the individual, who has been closely involved with Essendon for more than a decade.

“One player has a had a fertility test, a sperm count, and that will be monitored over coming years. The players are concerned with reports that some of the substances that have been given to them may impact their fertility in the next five, 10 or even 15 years from now.”

The meeting – to be held at Windy Hill at 6pm on Tuesday – follows a Fairfax Media report that club officials have been unable to tell either their players or ASADA exactly what drugs they were given when they were injected with a substance bought overseas by a Melbourne man suffering from muscular dystrophy.

It is believed the club will tell concerned parents the mystery drug was sourced from New Mexico, not Mexico, as reported.

The club cannot, however establish exactly what was injected and whether there are long-term health concerns or the substance illegal for use in sport.

The email sent to the families of past and present players states: “The club executive would like to welcome back parents, partners and players from the 2012-2013 season.”

It also states: “We are once again seeking your support in recognising the importance of keeping this meeting confidential.”

It has been widely reported that a number of Essendon players were “shaken” after their initial ASADA interviews.

During these interviews some players enquired about the potential long-term health impacts, including infertility and possible birth defects in children.

ASADA has told players it cannot comment on potential health impacts because it does not know all the details about what players were given.

With a number of players now keeping private medical records, Essendon faces the possibility of future legal action from the playing group if such health impacts materialise.

“There are a lot of questions from some very angry and upset family members that need to be answered,” said one individual, who allowed Fairfax to read the club email. “This is the real human tragedy that may emerge from all this.”

Fairfax Media has also learned that a group of former club players and officials is considering calling an extraordinary general meeting of members to vote on a spill of the club’s board.

It believed that the signatures of 100 members are needed to call the EGM.

“It’s very difficult at Essendon,” said the former senior official. “A very small selection of coterie groups actually controls the club and the board as many regular members never vote.

“We would need the support of a very large number of everyday members to bring some real change to the place, and take it out of the control of the hands of a very small number of people who are the powerbrokers at the club.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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