Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority CEO Says Investigation May Take Years
Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority CEO Aurora Andruska said that the ASADA investigation into doping in the National Rugby League and Australian Football League "would take months, if not years, to complete," according to Jeffery & Morton of THE AUSTRALIAN. Andruska "defended the pace of the investigation under questioning from Liberal senator Gary Humphries, comparing it to the three-year USADA investigation that eventually brought down cyclist Lance Armstrong." Andruska said, "We are under four months into (the) investigation. To date, we have interviewed 113 individuals and that ranges from third parties, support staff and players. Those interviews take 1.5 to eight hours in duration each. We have examined over 50,000 documents." Andruska said that "the inquiry was nowhere near complete despite the investigating team being expanded from six to 12 members since February." She said, "Our investigators are still very much in the information-gathering stage, still interviewing a range of people, numerous interviews still to be conducted. It's an investigation with quite a lot of complexity" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 5/31). In Sydney, Rick Morton wrote the head of Australia's peak crime-fighting body said it took a tough stance on the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport because the local industry needed "hardening." Australian Crime Commission CEO John Lawler told a Senate estimates hearing that "its drugs in sport report released in February pointed to widespread use of performance enhancing drugs in sport, and links to organised crime." He said, "In this instance, it was about hardening the industry of Australian sport from increased serious and organized crime penetration" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 5/30). In Melbourne, Samantha Lane reported after rewriting the AFL Anti-Doping Code -- which will be formalized within weeks and is set to include a so-called no-needles policy -- the league "will turn its mind to imposing its own prohibited substances list." According to a source who has seen drafts of the amendments, the league "is poised to enshrine 'multiple changes' to its code, including replicas of some of the new principles announced this week by the Australian Sports Commission, and a ban on the injection of all supplements and vitamins, except in medical emergencies" (THE AGE, 5/30).