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.
Dank was found guilty in April and the Tribunal has now rendered their decision on punishment. That sanction is a lifetime ban from all sports competitions. As a result, under WADA regulations, Dank is banned not only in Australia but throughout the world. The ban was effective immediately. Dank, as he has always done since the whole affair began, did not attend the hearing but again lashed out, saying "They have contaminated the truth and impaired natural justice and now they will feel the full thrust of the law in relation to how they've handled this process", a reference to his continued pursuit of legal action against the AFL and individual League officials.
AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said the League welcomed the verdict. ASADA CEO Ben McDevitt was of like mind and said the ban confirmed his stance that Dank should never be allowed anywhere near sport or athletes anywhere in the world. The charges which were dropped by the Anti-Doping Tribunal are under appeal by WADA with the case to be heard by the international Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). CAS also has yet to set a date for WADA's appeal regarding the Essendon players.
Article last changed on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 3:45 PM EDT