New ASADA CEO Ben McDevitt Pledges Support For 'Lessons Learnt' Self-Assessment
Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority CEO Ben McDevitt said that he would "support an all-encompassing 'lessons learnt' review of the body that has been increasingly scrutinised" through Australian Football League and National Rugby League inquiries, according to Samantha Lane of THE AGE. Fronting a "Senate estimates hearing for questioning just 17 days into his tenure" as ASADA CEO, McDevitt said that "such a review would be useful." But "following recent criticism" from former World Anti-Doping Agency President John Fahey and outgoing AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou, McDevitt suggested the "national anti-doping agency might have been hamstrung by its limited capacity to communicate through proceedings." While "refusing to comment on the suggestions made last week by Fahey and Demetriou that the so-called 'darkest day in Australian sport' news conference damaged the drug investigations" that ensued, McDevitt said that topic and many others were "worthy of reflection" (THE AGE, 6/4). In Canberra, Lee Gaskin reported the NRL has "defended the controversial round 13 rule that allowed James Tedesco to backflip on his deal with the Canberra Raiders." The Rugby League Players' Association is also remaining "steadfastly behind in the concept despite Tedesco's captain at the Wests Tigers, Robbie Farah, saying he is opposed to it." The Raiders announced a "couple of weeks ago they had secured the prize signature of Tedesco on a three-year contract" worth a reported A$1.9M ($1.8M). The 21-year-old, however, "had a change of heart and informed Raiders coach Ricky Stuart on Wednesday he would be staying at the Tigers" (CANBERRA TIMES, 6/5).
PARTING SHOT: In Melbourne, Jon Pierik wrote Demetriou, "as most would know, has rarely been afraid to speak his mind." Demetriou: "No final clips. I am going out without having any enemies." But before the "final embrace and handshake, before his successor Gillon McLachlan has it all to himself, Demetriou did provide his last critique." Demetriou: "There is absolutely no doubt the game is in good shape and, if you look at some of the key measurements that Gillon and [AFL chairman] Michael Fitzpatrick will oversee ... we have got great numbers in our [club] memberships, television ratings are up, our crowds are down in Melbourne but are up on average overall when you consider what is going on in Adelaide, which has lifted the average" (THE AGE, 6/4).