Watson whacks Bombers: ‘They didn’t do their jobs’
JOBE Watson has called out his former club for "not doing its job", which led to the Essendon supplements saga.
The former skipper, who had to hand back his 2012 Brownlow Medal because of his involvement in the drugs program, also criticised the Bombers for being "negligent on multiple levels" throughout the period.
"Four years of not only my career but my teammates' careers were absorbed by this, so that makes me sad. I don't have ill feelings towards the club, but the club didn't do their job," he said.
"They were negligent and they were negligent on multiple levels and they had to admit that and I guess my feelings are that it happened, there's no point harbouring grudges and ill feelings towards the club because of that.
"I do have sadness because of what myself and my teammates had to go through."
In a wide-ranging interview with the Plant Proof podcast, Watson touched on many aspects of the supplements regimen.
While the 2012 injecting program was different to anything he had experienced in his career, Watson said he trusted the club was looking after its players and never thought what they were doing could be illegal.
"The program was different to what we had experienced before but I guess it was stuff that had been sanctioned by the club," he said.
"They were our employer. We thought to ourselves, 'Why would anyone try and do this? It is just such a ridiculous thing.'
"We get tested all the time. Everyone in the club is here. It's not like we are going off-site and hiding away.
"These are our employers, they have a duty of care to look after us."
Watson was one of 34 players on the 2012 list who were eventually banned for 12 months by the World Anti-Doping Authority.
Watson said he spent a long time thinking he should have done more to stop the situation, but has since learnt to let go.
"In hindsight you always think I should have done more. I should have done this or I should have done that," he said.
"You're only doing that with the information you have in hindsight. At the time, the program was brought in by the club and sanctioned by the football club.
"When I look back on it I think of course I should have done more or I could have done more, but I don't necessarily have a huge sense of guilt about it."
Watson added that he initially didn't think he would come back from his year-long ban.
The now 33-year-old spent most of his time in New York and has returned to the city since he retired at the end of last season.
"I remember being at Melbourne airport and leaving and thinking to myself, 'I don't know if I'll ever come back'," he said.
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