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SBD Global/June 20, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

AFL, NRL Receive Warning They Would Be Disowned If They Break From WADA

The Australian Football League and National Rugby League have been "warned they would effectively be disowned by government if they sought to break away from World Anti-Doping Agency requirements and run their own tailor-made programs," according to Samantha Lane of THE AGE. Federal Sports Minister Peter Dutton has "outlined the government's position at a time when the nation's richest and most popular professional football codes are embroiled in damaging drug scandals that could lead to dozens of players and others, such as coaches, facing sanctions." Dutton said on Thursday that the "integrity of sport requires" all Australian sporting codes to remain WADA compliant. He added it would be a "double standard" if Australian sports broke away from WADA. Dutton: "We cannot, on the one hand, demand that our athletes are able to compete on a fair playing field in international competition, with the same rules and sanctions applying to all, and on the other hand support sporting organizations within Australia independently deciding if to test and what to test for, when to investigate, and whether or not to penalize doping athletes" (THE AGE, 6/19). In Sydney, Nicole Jeffery reported Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer Melanie Schlanger "joined the ranks" of Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority critics when she "blasted the agency's drug testers for refusing to let her attend a medical appointment for treatment." She tweeted, "ASADA u are a joke. Forcing me to miss an appointment for an ongoing injury so you can save a couple of $$ is unacceptable @anti_doping." Schlanger said later that she would be making a "formal complaint about the incident," describing it as "bureaucratic nonsense." She has also reported her experience to Swimming Australia (THE AUSTRALIAN, 6/20). Also in Sydney, Caroline Wilson reported AFL side Carlton has "joined the growing chorus of disenchanted clubs concerned at the detrimental effect Essendon's drug saga is having on the competition." Incoming Carlton President Mark LoGiudice said, "My view is that if it drags on to the point that it affects the brand of the AFL then we are all damaged. Has it gone on too long? Anything that affects the AFL brand is the time when we have an issue" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/19).

PHARMACIST WEIGHS IN: Also in Sydney, Chip Le Grand wrote pharmacist Nima Alavi, who prepared the peptides that sports scientist Stephen Dank "allegedly injected into ­Essendon players," said that he did not know "with any certainty what they were given." And "neither, he said, could the anti-­doping investigators." Alavi said that a batch of Thymosin peptide he supplied to Dank in Jan. '12 was "intended for testing only and not for human use." ASADA suspects that Dank "administered those peptides, untested, to Essendon players." Dank denied this. Alavi said that if that happened, it was "impossible to know whether the players were given Thymosin Beta 4, a substance that is banned, Thymosin Alpha 1, a substance that is permitted, the similarly permitted Thymomodulin, or something else altogether" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 6/20).
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