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SBD Global/July 9, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Scientist Dank Doubts AFL Essendon Players Didn't Know Ingredients In Drugs

Sports scientist Stephen Dank "rubbished claims" that Australian Football League side Essendon players "did not know what drugs they had taken during the club’s 2012 supplement program," according to Lalor & Honeysett of THE AUSTRALIAN. Dank: “I would say it would be very unusual for the players to say they didn’t know what they were taking. I think that in my personal opinion they not only knew what they were taking but they understood what they were taking. The reasons I say that, again, will be discussed in the appropriate forum. As I have said all along, none of us have done anything wrong." AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan "came out in support of AFL medical officer Peter Harcourt after it was revealed in The Australian he told an American medical conference the players were at risk of contracting cancer because of the supplement program." Essendon and the AFL PA "are furious with Harcourt over the comments." McLachlan said that he "did not believe claims from Essendon that Harcourt’s speech had breached a non-disparagement clause." McLachlan: “My personal view is no, my legal advice is absolutely, definitively no” (THE AUSTRALIAN, 7/9). In Melbourne, Jon Pierik reported Dank, who said that he would not do anything differently if he had his time again, "would not reveal what substances he had given the players." Dank: ‘‘Obviously, I can’t because of impending court action.’’ Players "were warned about the possible side-effects of the 16 drugs listed in the AFL charge sheet that they may have been administered during interviews" with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and the AFL last year. Dank: ‘‘With all due respect, they [ASADA] don’t have categoric evidence." Dank said that "he was not the only person at the club at the time to know what had been administered to the players." He "would not say whether former Essendon fitness boss Dean Robinson, who is suing the Bombers for unfair dismissal, knew what was on the injecting list" (THE AGE, 7/8). In Melbourne, Pierik also reported Dank said that he is "seriously considering legal action" against Harcourt. Dank later "revealed he had been unimpressed by Harcourt's remarks." Dank: "I didn't receive it very, very well and my barristers received it even less well. Let's just say that obviously my barristers are reviewing our position on his public comments very, very strongly as we speak" (THE AGE, 7/8).

AFL EXPOSED IN TV SHOW: The AAP reported Brownlow Medallist Michael Voss said that his new reality show "The Recruit" exposes how the AFL system "overlooks mature-aged players to its own detriment." The Foxtel production "features Voss as the coach of a group of 20-something footballers trying to win a place on an AFL list." Brisbane’s triple premiership captain said that the series "underlines that there are AFL quality players competing in country leagues who have been overlooked for one reason or another." Voss: "I was left wondering across the program, how many of these are we missing" (AAP, 7/8).
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