NSW Minister For Sport Annesely To Be Briefed On ASADA Drug Probe Progress
New South Wales Minister for Sport Graham Annesley will be given a briefing from Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority officials on Thursday on their progress, a day after the six-month mark for the investigation into the "darkest day in Australian sport," according to Adrian Proszenko of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Wednesday marked six months since "the Australian Crime Commission's probe into sport, drugs and potential links to crime." Annesley said, "I raised that the states weren't getting enough feedback, and they said they were happy to meet with me at any time. I'm hoping I will get more of an idea about where it's all up to, but I don't know how much they'll be prepared to tell me." Annesley said that "he was frustrated with the time the investigation was taking." Annesley: "It's always too long when innocent people have been suspected of not being innocent" (SMH, 8/8). In Sydney, Chip Le Grand wrote Australian Football League club Essendon President Paul Little "has urged the AFL to clear his players from the taint of doping allegations" and expressed frustration at ASADA's 400-page "work in progress" currently being examined by league and club lawyers. Little, who has read the confidential report, "expressed confidence that no Essendon player would be charged with a doping offence as a result of ASADA's six-month, ongoing investigation into the club's supplement program" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/8). THE AUSTRALIAN also reported NSW Supreme Court judge Lucy McCallum Wednesday warned sports scientist Stephen Dank, the man at the center of the ongoing ASADA drug investigation, to carefully consider his numerous defamation claims, telling him he had launched "something of a juggernaut." In an interlocutory or provisional judgment handed down Wednesday, McCallum ordered that proceedings Dank "brought against two medical professionals, endocrinologist Kenneth Ho and leading Melbourne sports doctor Peter Larkins, be struck out." McCallum also ruled that Dank "had to pay legal costs" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/8).
TAKING OFFENSE: In Sydney, Sam Lienert wrote AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou described as "offensive" the suggestion by former Essendon player Tim Watson that the AFL "had already decided to punish the Bombers." Demetriou returned from the U.S. on Wednesday "and hit out at Watson, father of Bombers captain Jobe, for saying the AFL had been conditioning the public to expect the club to be stripped of premiership points." Demetriou: "To suggest that the AFL commission would somehow predetermine an outcome is just offensive and it's completely wrong" (SMH, 8/8).