Essendon Bombers Fined $200k For Breaching Workplace Safety Over Supplements Program

28/01/2016 12:04 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
Michael Dodge via Getty Images
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 27: Bombers coach James Hird leaves his home in Toorak for the Essendon Bombers AFL Commission Hearing at AFL House on August 27, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. The AFL commission continues to meet today to discuss sanctions resulting from the Essendon Bombers' 2012 supplements program and the ASADA Investigation into the alleged use of banned substances at the Essendon Bombers FC. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

In the latest blow to the Essendon Football Club, the Bombers have been fined $200,000 for breaching workplace safety laws over the way the club implemented its controversial 2012 supplements program.

In November, Essendon pleaded guilty to two charges laid by WorkSafe Victoria of failing to provide a working environment that was safe and without risks to health.

Following a comprehensive investigation conducted by WorkSafe, the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday morning convicted the club of the two charges and fined it $200,000.

The latest penalty to the beleaguered club follows a decision by the Court for Arbitration of Sport in early January, which found 34 past and present players guilty of doping and which banned them from participating in the 2016 season.

Court documents stated that “there was a risk that Essendon players might be given substances in a manner that could be harmful to their health".

The documents went on to detail how the club failed to adhere to a system whereby a club doctor would advise on clinical outcomes, including potential positive and negative effects of substances.

“Between December 2011 and 15 January 2012... Essendon players were exposed to risks to their health and safety by [the club's] failure to provide and maintain the system of work described.”

Essendon had argued for a lesser penalty in the range of $20k to $40k. There is speculation within the AFL community that the next round of legal action in the supplements saga could be a civil action by the 34 banned players.

The website said that the players may decide to sue their employer, Essendon, for breach of employer duties that are owed to their employees.

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