ABC News 24 will broadcast an exclusive live interview with former Essendon Football Club coach, James Hird, this Sunday evening.
Hird has promised this interview will be his only detailed comment on the sport doping scandal which enveloped the club in 2012. The case culminated yesterday with a ruling by the Court for Arbitration of Sport which banned 34 current and former players for a year.
The 50 minute interview will be conducted by ABC NewsRadio's Tracey Holmes before a live audience at The Ethics Centre in Sydney. Holmes has covered the Essendon case extensively over the last 3 years.
DeciderTV contacted the Ethics Centre to learn how this interview came together and recieved the following response from Dr Simon Longstaff AO.
1. James was first sounded out about coming to the Ethics Centre to discuss this issue in the days immediately before Christmas. Naturally enough he took some time to consider the offer - agreed (in principle) a few days later. Holidays then intervened.
2. The details of the interview were settled last Friday. James realises that he has opened himself to what will be a tough and searching interview (there have been no promises of 'a soft conversation'. His principal condition for participating is that the conversation be broadcast live (to avoid the inevitable risks that come with the editing process). ABC News 24 has agreed to this.
3. I have discussed ethics in sport (on air and off air) with Tracey Holmes for at least sixteen years (I think initially in 1999 when the Ethics Centre was working with Kevan Gosper and a team of others to reform in the IOC after the Salt Lake City scandal). More than any other journalist, Tracey has taken a consistent interest in the issue of ethics in sport. So, she is an obvious choice for us to make in selecting an informed and expert interviewer. However, James Hird also made it clear that his preference is for Tracey Holmes to conduct the interview as she is trusted by him. In truth, I sincerely doubt that Hird would do the interview if conducted by someone else - so, in that sense, it is fortunate that we independently hold Tracey in such high regard. Finally, it is is helpful that Tracey works with the ABC - our most frequent broadcast partner for all similar events.
4. James Hird is not receiving any remuneration for his participation in the interview.
The interview will be broadcast live on ABC News 24 from 7.40 pm AEDT on Sunday 17 January, and simulcast on ABC NewsRadio.
The court’s decision to uphold an appeal by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority has rocked the AFL and the wider sporting community. Twelve current Essendon players have been banned along with five who now play for other clubs.
Hird served a 12 month suspension and later resigned his coaching position at Essendon as the saga dragged on over three years.