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,
he suffered a badly broken leg and later an Achilles injury. At the time, there were allegations that Bock had used the prohibited CJC-1295 (a peptide which increases plasma growth hormones). Bock and the Suns were cleared.Now ASADA is considering the reopening of the case against Nathan Bock. In early April, there were no such plans with ASADA saying they were not going to pursue it. However, there was much criticism by journalists and fans, with many calling ASADA hypocritical. One week later, Stephen Dank spoke to a journalist and claimed he purchased CJC at a pharmacy in 2010 and delivered it to Robinson. Robinson then, according to Dank, delivered it to the injured Bock and showed him how to self administer. Then the Essendon scandal broke. During the Essendon investigations, the association of Robinson and Dank with Gold Coast was revealed. At the time, ASADA declared that no one at the Suns had a case to answer. According to journalist Chip Le Grand, who has an occasional spot on SEN Radio, the Bock case was essentially shelved because ASADA had their hands full with Essendon.
Since Dank's revelation, ASADA has approached the journalist he spoke to requesting details of the conversation. However, the case may not be viable with the agency's boss Ben McDevitt saying they need "evidence in a usable form" to prosecute. Such evidence may not be available after such a lengthy time. Dank again has refused to sign an affidavit or cooperate with ASADA. McDevitt said that Dank's claims were of little use. Dank also said he was told in 2009 that CJC was not a banned substance. However, his claim that he purchased and provided it to Robinson in is in stark contradiction to his appeal against his guilty verdict by the Anti-Doping Tribunal for trafficking banned substances.
Others have said Dank's claims should be taken with a grain of salt as he seems to enjoy "stirring the pot". He has nothing to lose after being banned from the sports industry. Despite all of this and his recent loss of a court case against the media, he said he plans to file a suit against the Suns for unfair dismissal.
Bock, who retired at the end of 2013, is currently playing and coaching at Southport in Queensland.
In related news, banned Essendon Bomber Dyson Heppell plans his own suit against Essendon for lost wages, damage to his reputation and potential loss of sponsorship deals. it is believed he could ask for up to $1 million. It is speculated that some, if not all of the present and past players who are currently banned could also launch legal action against the club. The retired Dustin Fletcher says he feels frustrated that he cannot coach his son in the Under-16's competition. He is not allowed onto the ground when his son is playing or in the change rooms. He is also banned from coaching courses.
Source: afl.com.au, sen.com.au, foxsports.com.au, AFL Record Season Guides
Article last changed on Monday, April 18, 2016 - 2:03 AM EDT