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Thursday 29, May 2014

  Fans Have Right To Doping-Free Rugby League World Cup, Says Wilkin

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Fans Have Right To Doping-Free Rugby League World Cup, Says Wilkin

Jon Wilkin, Athlete Committee member and England International, has emphasized on the importance of clean sport.

The English professional rugby league footballer who plays for St Helens RLFC of Super League remarked that he was appointed a member of the newly-formed Athlete Committee of UK Anti-Doping in May 2010. Wilkin remarked that this appointment offered an opportunity for athletes and players such as him to feed into anti-doping policy and decision making for, like it or not, anti-doping is part and parcel of life in elite sport.

Jon Wilkin was named as the first chairman of the newly founded Super League Players’ Association in January 2012. He was recognized for his good season in 2006 by being named in the 2006 Super League Dream Team and was selected for the England squad to compete in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup tournament.

Wilkin, who won The Observer’s first Community Champion Award and previously played for Hull Kingston Rovers before moving to Saints, said the hours of training on the pitch and in the gym and the responsibility to compete clean is constant and essential amidst all the preparations for this month’s Rugby League World Cup. The rugby league footballer added that our sport has been under public scrutiny since the Australian Crime Commission report was published back in January, and fans have a right to watch, support, and believe in a doping-free World Cup. Wilkin remarked that one of the key developments in anti-doping that has been seen by us over the last few years is the use of intelligence to inform programs through a risk-based approach.

He went on to remark that every player coming to compete in the United Kingdom should be prepared for a stringent anti-doping program. Jon Wilkin added he had learnt firsthand of how such an approach works and how important this approach is to anti-doping through the Athlete Committee. Wilkin also remarked that the Intelligence Team of UK Anti-Doping gathers all kinds of information and use this to inform their testing and education programs and added that the Education team has been working on a bespoke ‘Win Clean’ campaign to ensure that all players are made aware of their anti-doping rights and responsibilities. Wilkin also remarked that he hope we can inspire a few more to take up the sport, and importantly, be encouraged to do so without the temptation of performance enhancing drugs.

The Great Britain and England international representative forward said players cannot escape punishment by saying they are unaware of how a drug gets into their body. He added that principle of strict liability requires every player or athlete, whatever your sport, to take responsibility for what goes into their body. Jon Wilkin added that the Athlete Committee has discussed the issue of supplements on a number of occasions, the high number of positives these products cause, and the possible risks to health and added that there are education programs in place to raise awareness and provide assistance to prevent inadvertent doping.

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Tuesday 15, Oct 2013

  Essendon Players Not To Be Charged Immediately

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Essendon Players Not To Be Charged Immediately

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) and the Federal government have told the Australian Football League (AFL) that ASADA has no immediate plans to start processing doping charges against Essendon players.

However, it is believed that there still seems to be a possibility of infraction notices sent to individual players with the joint investigation by AFL-ASADA into possible use of performance enhancing drugs at Essendon. In another development, AFL chief Andrew Demetriou says he has no knowledge of imminent bans for Essendon players and officials, but he cannot rule them out. Demetriou also hinted that there is a possibility of sanctions hanging over Essendon for all of next season and possibly longer.

Essendon interim CEO Ray Gunston refuted claims that the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority has plans of putting up infraction notices against players and club officials that could result in lifetime bans from all sport. Gunston said the club understands that there is no factual basis to the story in relation to the issuing of infraction notices at this point in time. An ASADA spokesman said the anti-doping agency is aware of a media report speculating on the issuing of infraction notices in the AFL and it is important to note that under its legislation ASADA is unable to provide specific comments on individual investigations to protect the integrity of the investigation as well as individuals.

Australian Sport Minister Peter Dutton remarked as a general rule ASADA have extensive powers and they will exercise those powers where they see fit and if people have done the wrong thing they will impose bans, they will make sure they investigate matters properly and that’s appropriate.

Coach Tim Sheens when asked if he is concerned the ASADA investigation could potentially derail the World Cup campaign of the Kangaroos said you never get ahead of yourself in this business, so it’s about playing football with the team we’ve picked and if something happens we’ll consider what happens at that point. He added all you do is to prepare well to play football and that’s his role and the team’s role.

Meanwhile, Australian Rugby League commission chairman John Grant has revealed contingency plans are in place in case any of the Kangaroos’ players receive infraction notices resulting from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigation during the upcoming Rugby League World Cup. Grant confirmed all interviews with NRL players and relevant officials have been completed and remarked we’ll take whatever actions from a Commission point of view that are appropriate. He added if in fact there is a situation that does come where there’s an infraction notice issued against a player that’s in the squad, there’s a process within the Rugby League World Cup rules whereby a nation can apply to have a replacement but that’s to be determined at that time.

It is widely believed that Essendon doctor Bruce Reid may escape an infraction notice. A report appearing in The Australian suggested that Reid would be cleared of all charges and face no penalty for his role in failing to prevent Essendon players being exposed to health risks and, potentially, anti-doping violations through the injection of exotic supplements.

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