Former Essendon football boss Danny Corcoran has revealed he broke down upon visiting James Hird in hospital this week.
Hird is currently in an intensive care unit after a drug overdose 11 days ago.
Corcoran, who served as the people and development manager at the Bombers alongside Hird during Essendon's doping scandal, could not contain his disbelief.
"I walked out of that ICU unit and just felt the total despair of how systemic bullying and harassment of a person had caused him to fall into such a dire state," he told News Corp.
“I can’t believe it. He’s in an ICU in a secure ward.
"A great man — a great champion, reduced to this...it’s just horrendous to think that it’s got to this point."
Corcoran said he noticed a decline in Hird's mental health during the saga.
“Two years ago I said to James: ‘No one in the history of Australian sport has ever suffered as much humiliation or persecution and that is going to take its toll on you’," he said.
“I started to notice little things about him being erratic and angry. He couldn’t see anything positive about life after his treatment.
“I said: ‘You need some help and you should get professional advice’.
“But like a lot of men, help was offered and help was rejected.
“He is a victim and is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, I’ve got no doubt about it.
“He endured four years of harassment and eventually he just snapped.”