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Essendon barred

The AFL anti-doping tribunal is closed to Essendon officials, as well as the media and public.
Bombers chairman Paul Little revealed at Monday night's club annual general meeting that they were also barred from attending the closed hearing.
He said Essendon tried unsuccessfully to have club representation within the hearing.
Little was responding to a member's question near the end of the AGM.
"We're not allowed to (attend)," he said.
"Our legal teams are there obviously and the process is being screened to the players as they obviously need to be aware of it."
Little also forecast that the hearing will run until late January.
The long-awaited landmark hearing started on Monday, with 34 current and past Essendon players fighting ASADA charges that they were administered the banned substance Thymosin beta-4.
ASADA is also taking action against former Essendon sports scientist Stephen Dank.
The national anti-doping agency started outlining its case on Monday at Melbourne's County Court and that is expected to continue through the next sessions on Thursday and Friday.
The hearing will then break for Christmas and resume on January 12.
"(The tribunal) could run until late January," Little said.
"We hope this is the last step before our players' names can be cleared once and for all and we can all move forward, putting this major distraction behind us."
While Essendon announced a $721,000 trading profit last month, club officials outlined at the AGM that the ongoing ASADA issue had cost the Bombers $1.1 million through the year.
"Importantly, the club's directors and officers insurance cover positively contributed to this result," Little said.
Coach James Hird did not attend the AGM because he is completing his study in Singapore, but appeared via a pre-recorded video message.
He started the overseas study during his 12-month AFL suspension, imposed after the joint investigation with ASADA into the club's 2012 supplements program.
As a result of that joint investigation, ASADA laid the anti-doping charges against the 34 players and Dank.
Hird is also awaiting a Federal Court verdict on his appeal against a September finding that the joint ASADA-AFL investigation was legal.
"Hopefully we'll move through this very quickly and become a better football club because of what's happened," Hird said of the supplements saga.
"But obviously there's a lot to learn ... a lot of mistakes we've made."
There was strong speculation at the start of October that the club was on the verge of sacking Hird, with interim coach Mark Thompson to stay permanently in the role.
But the Bombers soon confirmed Hird would return.
After several weeks of speculation, Thompson then left the club.
On Monday night, Little said the board would have preferred for Thompson to stay at Essendon.
"We were unable to find a suitable and meaningful role that would benefit both Mark and the club," Little said.
"We spent a great deal of time working with Mark on creating a new role.
"But he was unable to provide any certainty on what he wanted."

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