Best Sports Feature in any Medium
Chip Le Grand of The Australian has won the Quill for Best Sports Feature in any Medium.
Le Grand produced a fascinating fly-on-the-wall account of the fraught two days of negotiations at AFL House between the AFL Commission and Essendon officials in August. He was able, to piece together a picture of the protracted negotiations which eventually led to Essendon facing a range of sanctions and coach James Hird accepting a 12 month ban from coaching. Le Grand also shed light on the AFL's tactics in manufacturing a solution. A very readable and insightful feature which added valuable perspective to the Essendon supplements scandal.
Highly commended were Nick McKenzie & Richard Baker, The Age and Quentin McDermott, Clay Hichens and Lorna Knowles, Four Corners ABC.
In their excellent report of April 13, McKenzie and Baker helped provide valuable new information on the Essendon supplements scandal via a thorough and well-researched piece of investigative journalism. It featured interviews with many of the key figures in the drama - including Stephen Dank, David Kenley and Robin Willcourt - and revealed how the anti-obesity drug used by Dank on the Essendon players had not been approved for human use.
Following on from his ground breaking report on Lance Armstrong in 2012, McDermott in February produced another excellent piece on the disgraced American cyclist, who had recently confessed his sins to Oprah Winfrey. McDermott interviewed some of the key players in the Armstrong saga - including Phil Anderson and Frankie and Betsy Andreu - and produced fresh evidence to suggest that the cyclists’ confessions were far from complete.