Kevin Sheedy has lauded his former club Essendon's decision to go to the AFL amid concerns about the possible use of illegal substances.
But the Greater Western Sydney coach also took a veiled swipe at the Bombers, suggesting it was a situation that could have been avoided with some greater diligence.
Essendon are now under investigation by the AFL and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency for practices – overseen by former employee Stephen Dank – last year that involved players being injected off-site with what were understood to be supplements.
The club became concerned in recent days that either the substances involved or the practices under which they were taken by the players may not have complied with ASADA and WADA guidelines.
But with rampant speculation since Essendon announced the investigation, including calls for major penalties if they are found guilty of any wrongdoing, the club's former coach of 27 years backed chairman David Evans' handling of the matter.
"Essendon, as far as I'm concerned, they've done the right thing because in the end you want to get that sorted out," Sheedy said in Canberra on Thursday.
"To me I can't believe what happened.
"They've just had basically an investigation so we shouldn't really be jumping into Essendon too much."
Sheedy believes the Essendon situation, with Dank having come to the club from a murky background following stints at several NRL clubs, will lead to greater AFL scrutiny of all off-field positions at clubs.
But while he believes the Bombers have now done the right thing, he did take a pot shot at the club.
"You would want to know about that because you'd stamp it out straight away," Sheedy said of the program Dank oversaw last year.
"I'm pretty ruthless in this area (and) I had no problem for 27 years.
"I don't know how people infiltrate into football clubs.
"Normally the head coach does the interviews along with the football manager and we either (say) yes or no.
"And when I get asked by certain people and have been over the years why didn't you think that that person was correct for our club I say 'I just didn't think he was right for this club, I didn't like his attitude' or whatever the reasons were.
"I can normally tell in an interview whether I think that person is the right person to bring into your organisation.
"Over a quarter of a century that's a skill you have.
"The people have infiltrated into our sport actually aren't AFL people."
As for Australian Crime Commission revelations on Thursday there are links between organised crime and Australian sport, including the use of performance-enhancing drugs and match fixing, Sheedy welcomed the findings.
And having been a major part of the AFL's response to racism in the 1990s, which led to the adoption of specific rules outlawing racism, Sheedy believes the league will again be at the forefront of Australian sport's response to the ACC findings.