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Sunday 19, May 2013

  Strict New Anti-Doping Laws Introduced By AOC

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Strict New Anti-Doping Laws Introduced By AOC

The Olympic boss of Australia, John Coates, has introduced the strictest anti-doping laws in Australia that would make athletes and officials to truthfully answer any questions put to them by the anti-doping body, the Australian Anti-Doping Agency.

Speaking at an Australian Olympic Committee meeting, Coates remarked that his organization was watching the investigation the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority was undertaking into the National Rugby League and Australian Football League and wanted to make sure that any investigation into the use of drugs in Olympic sports was not hindered. He added that it would be naïve to not expect that some Australian athletes and officials in Olympic sports have so far fallen through the net because of inefficient (drugs) testing. The AOC chief also said he had no problem with information from “phone taps, surveillance and credit card receipts” being used to assist any anti-doping investigation.

The announcement came as Sports Minister Kate Lundy announced new funding of $3.46 million in the 2013/14 Budget for the Australian Anti-Doping Agency and the National Integrity of Sport Unit. A total of $1.7 million of the funding will be provided to the National Integrity of Sport Unit and $1.76 million to ASADA. Senator Lundy, in a statement, said this funding was being provided to help the Australian Anti-Doping Agency with its present investigations and to help individual sports strengthen their integrity systems on the back of the Australian Crime Commission’s Project Aperio Report. Senator Lundy added the investigation resources of ASADA have already been doubled in the wake of Project Aperio and this funding will see those resources maintained until at least 2014/15, to ensure ASADA can explore all possible avenues of inquiry. Lundy added that from grass-roots participation to elite sport, the Australian government is committed to Australian sport being played clean and fair.

All athletes and officials, under the new AOC Anti-Doping By-Law, would be required to give a statutory declaration upon taking up positions or membership in the team agreeing to fully cooperate with any investigation by ASADA and they must fully co-operate with ASADA even if to do so might incriminate or expose them to a penalty. The new law also obligates athletes and officials to give information, produce documents and answer questions as required by ASADA.

The Lance Armstrong case in which he categorically denied use of banned performance enhancing drugs and managed to pass all doping tests, had given more weight to amending the AOC By-Law, Coates remarked.

Coates added that failure to co-operate with and assist ASADA, in every way, can result in an athlete or official being ruled out of an Olympic Team and they may be ineligible for membership of or selection to any Team, or to receive funding from or to hold any position within the AOC for such period as determined by the Australian Olympic Committee. He also added that it was important to uphold the integrity in Olympic sport and Coates “welcomed” the assistance that Customs and the Australian Crime Commission were offering to the Australian Anti-Doping Agency.

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Wednesday 24, Apr 2013

  Doping Claims Denied By Demons

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Doping Claims Denied By Demons

AFL Club Melbourne has admitted links between its team doctor and former Essendon sports scientist Stephen Dank, the man central to the Australian sport anti-doping investigation. However, the club denied it has done anything illegal.

The Australian Football League says it is urgently seeking an explanation from Melbourne over its dealings with Dank in the context of Australia Sports Anti-Doping Authority’s (ASADA) probe into supplement use now certain to widen to take in the Demons. Recently, the ABC’s 7.30 Report claimed to have text messages between Melbourne’s club doctor Dan Bates and Stephen Dank stretching back to mid-2012. Many Demons players were named in the messages that suggest a supplements regime at the club that Dank was involved in and ABC’s 7.30 report alleges the text messages between Dank and Bates continued until the day Essendon fronted a media conference to reveal that they had concerns over their supplements program and the work of Dank at that club. However, none of the substances mentioned in the Melbourne text messages are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

AFL Club Melbourne, in a lengthy statement, said there was no evidence any of its supplements breached the WADA drug code, and that Dank never directly treated players nor worked directly for the club but it admit that Melbourne’s club doctor Dan Bates and sports scientists Stephen Dank had been in communication prior to the launch of ASADA’s investigation into Essendon, though Bates always had the final say in any treatment for Demons players. Melbourne said in its statement that Dank, at no point of time, was able to directly treat players and added that Dank and Dr Bates communicated via email, phone and text, regarding supplements (prior to the ASADA investigation).

The team, in the statement, said its processes require Dr Bates to consider the appropriateness of any treatment and make a determination as to its suitability at all times, to ensure that the welfare of our players is always maintained. Meanwhile, Melbourne coach Mark Neeld refused to reveal whether he had any knowledge of the club’s supplement program and said he is confident in the club’s processes and said we all should support the investigation and let’s have an investigation.

The AFL, which last week said Essendon was the only club involved in the wider Australian sport anti-doping investigation, approached the Melbourne Football Club to ascertain the club’s involvement with Stephen Dank and added that Melbourne provided the AFL with an explanation, however the matter has remained open as part of the AFL’s broader investigation into Dank’s activities with AFL clubs. The AFL said in a statement that it was not previously aware of the claims broadcasted by ABC’s 7.30 Report and these will form part of ongoing investigations by ASADA and the AFL and also added that the AFL is urgently seeking a further explanation from Melbourne Football Club about the veracity of the claims and how they can be reconciled with previous statements from the club.

Meanwhile, Demons face a critical clash with Greater Western Sydney Giants at the MCG on Sunday, after having a terrible season, losing their first three matches by huge margins

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