Lawyers for Essendon seek court injunction to stop ASADA investigation

23 June 2014
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, on behalf of the Essendon Football Club, will today file an application in the Federal Court for an urgent injunction to halt the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) investigation into the club.

The injunction will seek to prevent ASADA from continuing its investigation – including the requirement for players to respond to the show-cause notices – until the Federal Court hearing of the club’s challenge to the legality of ASADA’s investigation.

The injunction also seeks to restrain the Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel (ADRVP) from considering if any players should be placed on ASADA’s Register of Findings – a task the panel is required to perform after the show-cause response period has expired.

Josh Bornstein, a principal at Maurice Blackburn, said it was “very disappointing” that the Essendon Football Club needed to make an application for an urgent injunction, but ASADA had refused to suspend the investigation despite repeated requests.

“We have written three times to ASADA’s lawyers seeking their cooperation to ensure this matter is dealt with quickly by the court and that pending a quick hearing, the investigation and show cause process be halted. On each occasion ASADA has failed to agree to our request for an appropriate undertaking,” Mr Bornstein said.

“It’s in the interests of all concerned – the club, the players, the AFL and the football community more broadly – for this legal challenge to be dealt with as quickly as possible,” he said.

“It is only fair that ASADA commit to take no further steps in its investigation until after the Federal Court has ruled on the legality of the investigation. If ASADA proceeds, the court will be prevented from effectively ruling on the legality of the investigation because events will have overtaken the legal process.

“Extending the date for responses to the show-cause notices until 11 July, and committing to not provide information to the ADRVP until 12 July, does not go far enough.”

The application for the urgent injunction will be heard this Friday, 27 June by the Federal Court.

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