AFL Tribunal

Dank Appeal Tossed
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 by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Stephen Dank's appeal against his lifetime ban from international sports was set for November 21. However, the day before the hearing he emailed his former attorney that he would be unable to attend due to a family member being seriously ill in the hospital. He, in turn, notified lawyers for the AFL and ASADA and requested an adjournment. After 45 minutes of deliberation, board chairman Peter O'Callaghan announced the rescheduling of the hearing for December 1, contingent on Dank providing evidence from the hospital concerned and attending physician by November 26. This went against the request by the attorneys that the appeal be immediately dismissed due to their skepticism regarding Dank's latest excuse.

Banned Bombers Lose Appeal
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 by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The Swiss Court For Arbitration in Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by the 34 former and current Essendon players. The player were initially cleared by the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal, but WADA's appeal to CAS overturned that verdict and the players then launched their appeal against the banishment. With the penalty backdated to account for procedural delays, the players were effectively ruled out of the entire 2016 season.

Last Best Hope For Essendon 34
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The 34 former and present Essendon players have lodged an appeal in the Federal Court of Switzerland against the CAS verdict. The club's insurance will pay all legal fees. The appeal paperwork has to be translated into French or German as those are the only two languages in which the court, based in Lausanne, operates. Club chairman Lindsay Tanner said on 3AW radio, "The club is supporting that. We feel it's the right thing to do. It's obviously very important to the players to clear their name ... ".

It is unclear what time frame there would be on what would be a final appeal. However, the current players are resigned to missing the 2016 season. According to AFLPA CEO Paul Marsh,

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

Collingwood Duo Accept Drug Bans
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 by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA

Young Magpie duo Lachlan Keeffe and Josh Thomas still are not completely sure how the banned steroid clenbuterol got into their systems, but believe the illegal drugs they took during what they called "a night out" were laced with the banned steroid. While accepting responsibility for their actions at a press conference on August 10, they stressed they did not knowingly take the performance enhancing drug. They have accepted two year bans as well as a $50,000 fine each. With the provisional suspension being handed down last March after the first positive test was returned, the pair will be eligible to return in the 2017 season.

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.

WADA Appeals: It Ain't Over Yet Folks
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

On the morning of Tuesday May 12, the Australian Rules Football world woke up to the surprising - but not totally unexpected - news that the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) has decided to appeal the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) verdicts in the Essendon Bombers' supplements case. The world body will take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which is based in Lausanne, Switzerland (with courts also located in Sydney and in New York). A statement released by WADA Director-General David Howman said "After a thorough examination of the evidence ... WADA has decided to lodge its independent right of appeal ... As with all pending cases, and adhering to the proper and normal respect for the integrity of the legal process, WADA will refrain from commenting further ... until a decision has been made by CAS."

AFL Tribunal Says Dank Guilty
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Once the Anti-Doping Tribunal finished with the cases of the 34 past and present Essendon players, they turned their attention to the man at the center of it all: Stephen Dank. Dank was issued a show cause notice at the same time as the 34 players and his case was reviewed alongside those of the players however, no decision was rendered on him at that time. Dank never cooperated with the investigators or the tribunal. He also has claimed publicly throughout, that he never administered any banned substances and claimed he had proof that would clear the players. However, he has never produced the alleged proof and even cast doubt on whether it exists.

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