Stephen Dank To Reportedly Sue ASADA

Controversial sports scientist Stephen Dank has reportedly remarked that he will sue the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) and its chief executive Ben McDevitt for defamation in the wake of the Essendon doping scandal.

The sports scientist said his lawyers will take action against ASADA and McDevitt after the anti-doping agency said it was evaluating the option of appealing against decision of the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal to clear 34 former and current Essendon players of all charges. McDevitt accused Dank in a press conference of sending mixed messages about whether there were records of what injections Essendon players were administered. McDevitt remarked no party has disputed that Stephen Dank played a central and critical role, the lead role in administering the injections.

The ASADA Chief Executive also remarked Stephen Dank has publicly stated that extensive records of the injection regime were kept but, throughout this investigation, no such records have been found. McDevitt also said that Dank curiously in a statutory declaration provided to ASADA, in response to a disclosure notice, declared he had no documents to produce and added that all the evidence that he have seen probably would indicate if there were records, they would be shambolic and chaotic.

McDevitt also went on to remark that the case is not yet closed and Essendon players took banned drugs in a 2012 injection program.

Meanwhile, Australian Health Minister Sussan Ley said regardless of the tribunal’s verdict, the initial report found an experimental environment that was never adequately controlled. She said any injection of unknown substances into athletes in order to push the boundaries of sporting achievement is unacceptable and added it shows a complete disregard for player safety and welfare.

The ASADA head however admitted that the anti-doping agency had powers to force Dank to testify.

Recently, Dank said ASADA had been very, very poor in their conduct, execution and understanding of this whole investigation. The scientist said the players never took anything that was illegal or anything that was against the WADA-prohibited list and added the players were not guilty of anything and he is very happy for the players.

McDevitt said findings of the upcoming decision by the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal on the role of Dank in the supplements program some time after Easter would not determine whether the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority lodges an appeal but they might have some influence. The chief executive said we eagerly await that component from the tribunal because Stephen Dank was the alleged architect here and so it will be very interesting to see what the findings are, and what the reasons behind those findings are from the tribunal and also commented that it will certainly enable us to make a more informed decision on our appeal.

Steven Amendola, the lawyer who represented James Hird throughout the scandal, said Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority chief executive Ben McDevitt, his AFL opposite number Gillon McLachlan, most of the AFL Commission, and AFL competition integrity manager Brett Clothier should all submit their resignations over the ordeal.

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