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AFANA AFL Power Poll - Round Seventeen

Mundy leads Dockers to upset win

Round seventeen was full of upsets, great finishes and some very big injuries. The Giants resurrected their season with a win over the Tigers, the Eagles rode their big forwards to a classy win over Collingwood, and the Crows celebrated the re-signing of favorite son Rory Sloane by banking a win against the highly fancied Cats.

Biggest loser of the weekend has to go to Port Adelaide, who not only forfeited a chance at second place on the ladder by losing to an undermanned Fremantle,

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Purple Rain Grounds Bombers

Chris Kowald reporting from Optus Stadium, Perth

Before play started, the new Optus Stadium resonated to the sound of Prince’s classic song Purple Rain. The Fremantle Dockers responded by being ‘on song’ to defeat the Essendon Bombers, who last week defeated last year’s Grand Finalists, Adelaide.   

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Tribunal Announces Essendon Decision

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

THE VERDICT IS IN - NOT GUILTY
The saga that has lasted over two years is finally over with the Anti-Doping Tribunal clearing all 34 players involved in the supplements program.The verdict was unanimous and in a statement Tribunal Chairman David Jones spelled out the reasons:

  • The Tribunal was comfortably satisfied that the substance Thymosin Beta-4 was at the relevant time a prohibited substance under the Code.
  • The Tribunal was not comfortably satisfied that any player was administered Thymosin Beta-4.
  • The Tribunal was not comfortably satisfied that any player violated clause 11.2 of the Anti-Doping Code.

The statement also said that a decision regarding "a former Essendon support person" (read: Stephen Dank) would be made at a later date. Whether or not the full 133-page decision document or part of it will be made public is left up to the players, the club and their lawyers. Leaked copies have apparently reached some in the media. In summary, the panel conceded there was insufficient evidence against the players to establish that they had taken TB-4 and it could not be established that the substance they were injected with was in fact, TB-4. The credibility of the key individuals involved was so low and the chain of custody and record keeping so suspect, exactly what was injected could not be proven.

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Essendon Takes ASADA to Court

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

On June 12 ASADA, after 16 months, finally took the first step towards charging Essendon players with the use of illegal substances during the club's 2012 supplements program. ASADA has issued "show cause" notices to 34 past and current Essendon players. The notices are not infraction notices, rather they are notices for the players to respond to and explain why they should not be charged. They have ten days from notification to respond. The notices refer to the use of a peptide known as thymosin Beta 4. There has been no mention of the controversial anti-obesity drug AOD-9604.

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Dreamtime Nightmare For Tigers

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Off field distractions haunted both teams in the lead-up to “Dreamtime at the G”, with Essendon players continuing to be interviewed by ASADA and Tiger Alex Rance in court to face his one time acquaintance turned stalker. There were further problems on the injury front for Richmond, with young Tiger Brandon Ellis pulling out with a hamstring injury incurred at training prior to the big match.

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Cloke Finds Form For Pies

Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from Melbourne, Australia

Final round action saw traditional rivals Collingwood and Essendon lock horns at the MCG but their end of season situations were in stark contrast. For the Bombers, it was a chance to regain some pride. After letting a great start to the season slip by the wayside with their horrible run home, they cost themselves any chance of participating in Finals action. The Magpies on the other hand needed to win the game to sew up a spot in the Top Four and gain the double chance.

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Tigers Add To Bombers Woes

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

Round 22's “Clash of the Sash” was also shaping up as Essendon’s last chance to take a stand and show the football world they were worthy of playing Finals footy. For Richmond, it was once again about rebuilding a franchise and taking it back to the glory days of the 70s, when the Tigers and playing Finals were synonymous.

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Bombers Punish Toothless Tigers

Brook Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

Fresh from an unexpected victory over the all-conquering Cats, Essendon were favored to continue their resurgence with a win over a Richmond team coming off a belting at the hands of a rampaging Carlton. Essendon made one forced change from the team that beat Geelong, with the injured Andrew Welsh making way for Ricky Dyson. The Tigers decided not to make wholesale changes in the wake of their dismal display against Carlton, recalling Luke McGuane to bolster a thin defense and bringing back young draftee Reece Conca after a week’s rest.

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West Coast Breaks Drought

After a bleak start to the 2010 home and away season, the West Coast Eagles finally broke the drought to defeat a disappointing Essendon side at Subiaco Oval. In a two team town where West Coast has always reigned supreme, the early buzz has been all about the Fremantle Dockers’ brilliant start which has been in marked contrast to some uninspiring performances by West Coast. Finally in Round 4 the Eagles found some winning form and scored their first victory of the season.

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