Alastair Clarkson fears his chances of a fair process or just outcome to the racism allegations levelled against him might be "irrevocably corrupted".
Four-time Hawthorn premiership coach Clarkson and his then-football manager Chris Fagan and ex-Hawthorn welfare manager Jason Burt were named last week in an ABC report detailing historic racism allegations from some Indigenous Hawthorn players.
An independent investigation will delve into the allegations, which include a former Hawthorn player claiming he was told by Clarkson to terminate his partner's pregnancy.
Clarkson, who was recently appointed North Melbourne coach, professed his innocence last week and he released another statement on Wednesday emphatically denying the allegations after more details were leaked.
The 54-year-old said he had been shocked and deeply distressed since learning about the allegations last Wednesday.
"It remains profoundly disappointing that these matters are now being widely canvassed in the public domain without the opportunity being given to me or others to give our accounts or even read the Hawthorn report, which to this day I have not seen," Clarkson wrote in a statement released on Wednesday.
"The further recent publication of purported extracts from the report means I now have grave concerns that any chance of a fair process and just outcome have been seriously undermined, if not irrevocably corrupted.
"The failure to maintain the confidentiality of the review and further damaging public speculation means I have no option but to express publicly, in the strongest and most emphatic terms possible, that I did not behave in the manner claimed."
Clarkson defended his treatment of all players during his 17-year stint as coach of Hawthorn.
"I believe the genuine affection I held for all the players who walked through the doors into Hawthorn is well known," he wrote.
"I have always appreciated and respected the unique journeys of First Nations players into the highest echelons of Australian Rules Football.
"I have been committed to acknowledging and understanding their many varied experiences and brought all my efforts to ensuring these players are given the opportunity to realise their dreams.
"But not at any cost, and never at the cost of their families as has been alleged. Any suggestion to the contrary is false and deeply offensive."
Clarkson said he will continue to cooperate with the AFL, but hinted he could take legal action if he felt the investigation wasn't being conducted in a fair manner.
"I am trying to retain my trust that it will put in place a fair, respectful and supportive process for all involved," he said.
"However, I will not hesitate to take further steps to protect my position and reputation should that be necessary."
Brisbane coach Fagan, who has taken an indefinite period of leave from the Lions, released a statement this week also categorically denying the allegations against him.
Clarkson has delayed his starting date at North Melbourne in order to cooperate with the investigation.