Matthews: ASADA hearings should be held in public
Matthews: ASADA hearings should be held in public

Matthews: ASADA hearings need to be public

FOUR-time premiership coach Leigh Matthews has taken a public swipe at the decision to hold the long-awaited hearing into Essendon's supplements scandal behind closed doors.

The league ruled on Monday night that the three-week hearing beginning next Monday would not be attended by the media to continue protecting the privacy of the 34 past and present Bombers involved.

AFL Tribunal chairman David Jones said the privacy of players "outweighs the public interest".

Matthews (pictured), who is now a board member at the Brisbane Lions, hit social media yesterday, tweeting: "Very disappointed in David Jones decision to make AFL ASADA hearing closed, secrecy and finding the truth rarely great partners."

Almost two years since the supplements saga first arose, players - including about 20 still at Windy Hill, and at least three now at opposition clubs - are facing bans by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency and the AFL of up to two years.

The tribunal will sit for three days before Christmas before adjourning until January 12.

Lawyers for ASADA were to face the Supreme Court this morning seeking to subpoena convicted drug trafficker Shane Charter and pharmacist Nima Alavi to appear at the hearing to be questioned over their roles in Essendon's supplements program.

ASADA has reportedly accused the pair of reneging on assurances that they would give evidence about the purchase and preparation of banned substance Thymosin beta-4.

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