The supplement saga engulfing AFL club Essendon has deepened amid reports linking Bombers' coach James Hird with a convicted drug trafficker.
Shane Charter, who was jailed after being found in possession of 100,000 pseudoephedrine-based tablets in 2004, worked with Hird during his premiership and Brownlow Medal-winning career, according to the Herald Sun.
“Shane Charter was introduced to James Hird by friends to give dietary advice to him and a number of his friends during 2003 and in early 2004," an Essendon spokesman told the newspaper.
"James has had no contact or communication with Mr Charter since, except when he ran into him in 2011.
“The relationship was never more than that.”
It is claimed Charter also worked with Melbourne's Shane Woewoedin when he won the Brownlow Medal in 2000.
There is no suggestion that either player ever took banned substances.
A separate Fairfax report today suggested Charter worked closely with Stephen Dank, who is the pharmacist at the centre of Essendon's supplement scandal.
The club announced on Monday that it had asked the AFL and the Australia Sports Anti-Doping Agency to investigate the club's sports science program after revelations players were being injected with substances.