ASADA

No Essendon Saga in 2017? Guess Again!
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Just when everyone thought the Essendon supplements saga was done and dusted, it has reared its dubious head once again. Ironically, it has been just about exactly four years since the Bombers came out and "self-reported" with a request that the AFL investigate the 2012 supplements program. Now, Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper has obtained audio recordings of a crisis meeting which was held in August of 2013. Present at that meeting were chairman Paul Little (chairman), Jame Hird (coach), Mark Thompson (asst coach) and Danny Corcoran (football manager). The meeting was held to discuss the charges laid against the 34 players. The quartet are furious, believing the AFL had betrayed them and gone back on their word that the players would not be charged. In expletive-riddled conversations, all four express their anger at the league.

No Fond Memories of Fitzpatrick For Some
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 by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

While many will remember Mike Fitzpatrick fondly for all the positives he accomplished during his time as chairman, there are some who are not so happy. At the announcement of his retirement from the AFL Commission, Fitzpatrick said of the Essendon saga, "I think it was a really difficult issue, what happened was difficult, it should never have happened. But I am totally comfortable with the way we dealt with it ... I felt – as different events unfolded – the commission and the AFL dealt with them as they came, dealt with them under their processes ... ".

ASADA May Reopen Bock Case and Heppell To File Suit
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

In 2010, former Essendon high performance manager Dean Robinson was employed as the fitness coach at the fledgling Gold Coast Suns. Stephen Dank was also there for several months on a "handshake agreement" until dismissed just prior to the 2011 preseason. Adelaide's Nathan Bock also joined the Suns as an uncontracted player at the start of the 2010 season after 113 games with the Crows. During his time with the Suns,

Footy World Reacts To Essendon Verdict
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 by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

THE REACTIONS

Needless to say, almost everyone was shocked at the decision by the Court for Arbitration of Sport (CAS)- not so much the verdict itself but rather the severity. The 34 past and present players, their families, friends and supporters are devastated. The AFL, AFLPA and Essendon have all excepted the verdict and are and will be the ramifications.

World Court: Essendon 34 Guilty
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago 

Essendon's worst fears were realized on January 11 with the Court of Arbitration for Sport finding 34 past and present players guilty of taking banned substance Thymosin Beta-4. Even with backdating and time served during the provisional suspensions, the active players in both the AFL and at other levels of competition are banished until mid-November. The suspensions also mean no contact whatsoever or training with their respective clubs.Twelve of the 34 are still at Essendon while the others have either retired, been delisted and gone elsewhere or traded.

What Next For Bombed Out Bombers?
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Bombers coach James Hird celebrates with the fans after the Round 14, 2013 game played at Patersons Stadium. Photo by David Woodley for AFANA.There are three types of coaches - those who quit, those who have been sacked and those who will be sacked, with very few exceptions to the rule. In the earliest days of Australian Football there were no senior coaches. Team captains gave instructions on the field and acted as de facto coaches at training sessions. The first official senior coach was Jack Worrall who was appointed Carlton coach in 1902. Of course being the first senior coach appointed, he was also the first who was fired. He went on to be reinstated after the bookkeeping kerfuffle which saw him axed was sorted out and he was absolved of blame (he was also club secretary at the time). And so it has been ever since. If a team

WADA Claims New Evidence Against Bombers
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) announced in early August the results of tests which were done at a cutting-edge lab in Cologne, Germany. While the results do not prove that the banned Thymosin Beta-4 (TB4) was given to the Essendon players, the samples were taken from the players between December 2011 and August 2012 and then frozen and stored. Of the 27 samples which were recently tested, two showed high levels of TB4. These two came from players who were on Essendon's list in 2012.

Collingwood Duo Issued Drug Notices
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Magpies Lachlan Keeffe and Josh Thomas, provisionally suspended since March after returning positive drug tests in February, have been issued with infraction notices by ASADA and will be required to face the Anti-Doping Tribunal. No date has been set for that hearing as yet. The pair tested positive for clenbuterol, a powerful steroid used medicinally to treat breathing conditions such as asthma. However it can also be used to boost metabolic rates to burn fat and is thus considered a performance enhancing drug. The steroid is also used by veterinarians to treat horses. Although banned in most countries for use on food animals, some countries still use it. There are documented cases of people eating meats contaminated with the drug. There are also many cases of athletes around the world who have tested positive to it. Some have been banned while others have been acquitted. Many claimed to have eaten tainted meats. During the hearings which investigated rampant drug use in American baseball several years ago, clenbuterol was one of the drugs named.

Stephen Dank Appeals Life Ban
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Stephen Dank, recently handed an international life ban from the sports industry, announced that he will appeal that ban and reiterated his intentions of possible legal action against ASADA. He also announced legal action against the AFL, but he has yet to file any motions. Dank, through an attorney, submitted a statement to the AFL legal department indicating his appeal. The appeal has been set for a tentative date of August 17. However Dank has asked for an extension so he can better prepare even though there is still no word as to whether or not he will actually appear before the hearing.

Stephen Dank Banned For Life
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

It may have been unofficial that Stephen Dank would never be able to find employment with another sports franchise or within the sporting industry due to his involvement in the Essendon supplements saga, but as of June 26 2015 it was official. Dank was cleared of 21 of the 31 charges laid against him by the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal, but ten of the charges remained. The 21 dropped charges centered around what Dank may or may not have actually administered to the players, with the Tribunal indicating they were "not comfortably satisfied" that there was enough evidence for a guilty verdict. The remaining ten charges included "trafficking, attempting to traffic and complicity in matters related to a range of prohibited substances" and centered around the banned substances Hexarelin, Humanofort, CJC-1295, GHRP6 and SARSM. All are human growth peptides, some of which are used in the bodybuilding world. According to Dr Peter Larkins, who has long been associated with the AFL, CJC-1295 is extremely dangerous as it can cause high blood pressure, extreme stress on the liver and kidney, loss of fertility and can potentially cause the growth of cancer cells.

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