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Tuesday 07, Jul 2015

  Suburban Footballers Face Scrutiny Like Elite AFL Counterparts From ASADA

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The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority tested players from the Essendon District Football League B-grade match on Saturday between Doutta Stars and Craigieburn. This is seen by many as a stern warning to suburban footballers that they could face as much scrutiny as their elite AFL counterparts.

ASADA officials randomly tested four players from the two teams in the Essendon District Football League. Stars team manager Robert Lamberti said he had never heard of Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority’s officials testing district football players. The ASADA officials warned the clubs and players they could face a two-year ban if they did not comply.

The Doutta Stars are coached by Dean Wallis, former Essendon player and official who used to maintain the spreadsheets during the club’s controversial supplements program run by Stephen Dank. Dank, who was banned by the NRL and AFL, has been a sought-after figure by community football clubs and had been a guest speaker at a recent Doutta Stars club function.

In a statement, ASADA said we can confirm the Australian Football League (Victoria) Limited contracted ASADA to conduct tests at this level. The statement added the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority implements an intelligence-based testing program, working with sports to target athletes and competitions at highest risk in an effort to deter and detect doping.

The anti-doping agency’s statement further said we thought it was important in this instance to clarify reports in the media while it is not our normal practice to discuss specifics of our operations. It was further added it is important for athletes to understand that ASADA can conduct testing on any athlete who participates in a sport with an anti-doping policy and it was also commented that every athlete, regardless of the level of competition, has the right to compete in a sport free from doping.

It was reportedly said by Wallis that he had been told the need to test the players had come from Canberra. Meanwhile, AFL Victoria talent manager John Hook remarked he welcomes any drug testing done at suburban levels. Hook added he thinks the more we can afford with testing to try and combat that (PEDS and illicit drugs) and education, they both go hand in hand, and he thinks that is good for the sport.

AFL revealed the tests were conducted at the request of AFL Victoria. This is not the first time that drug testing has happened at VFL level but it is believed this is the first time such an investigation has taken place in the EDFL.

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Saturday 06, Jul 2013

  Bombers Could Lose Competition Points

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Bombers Could Lose Competition Points

The Australian Football League (AFL) has left open the possibility that third-placed Essendon with a 10-3 record in 2013 may be stripped of premiership points over the supplements scandal.

The AFL will consider various options if the Bombers are found guilty following the completion of the anti-doping investigation by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), said AFL general manager of football operations Mark Evans. When asked if Essendon could lose premiership points, Evans said it is certainly within the scope of the (AFL) Commission to do that, but it will be a Commission decision once it has been tabled.

The internal investigation of Essendon has already described what was going on at the AFL club in the year 2012 as a pharmacologically experimental environment never adequately controlled or challenged. The problems of the team were increased when Essendon Captain Jobe Watson said he believes he was administered AOD-9604 in 2012, saying it was cleared for his use by club medical staff.

The first casualty for the club was Essendon chief executive Ian Robson who rendered his resignation as the fallout from the club’s supplement scandal grows. Robson remarked we now know a lot happened at this club in 2012 that just should not have happened and we let down our players and their families. He also said he is accountable as the CEO and accept his accountability.

This was after an internal investigation by former Telstra boss Ziggy Switkowski was critical of the governance failures of Essendon. Bombers recently released the findings from the Switkowski report that said the use of exotic supplements, frequency of injections, and marginalization of traditional medical staff created a disturbing picture of a pharmacologically experimental environment never adequately controlled or challenged or documented within the club. Though the report did not call for sackings but said the CEO was responsible for overseeing all club matters.

In March this year, the Herald Sun revealed that Essendon players were urged to have up to 40 injections each last season. The team’s coach James Hird was accused by Stephen Danks, who was running the team’s sports science program in 2002, of taking drugs banned for players. The Herald Sun also revealed that Danks ordered another banned substance, Thymosin Beta 4 CJC-1295, from biochemist Shane Charter while working at Essendon but it is not known if the drug was administered to players.

The Essendon Football Club, nicknamed The Bombers, was formed in 1871 as a junior club and as a senior club in 1873. This Australian rules football club which plays in the Australian Football League (AFL) has won 16 Victorian Football league/AFL premierships which, along with Carlton, is the most of any club in the AFL. Today, the Essendon Football Club’s leadership group consists of Jobe Watson (Captain), David Hille (Vice-Captain), Heath Hocking, Brent Stanton, Michael Hurley, David Zaharakis, Brendan Goddard, Dyson Heppell, and Jason Winderlich. The club’s mascot is named Skeeta Reynolds (a mosquito), named after Dick Reynolds. The team mascot was created in honor of the team’s back-to-back Premierships side in the 1920s known as the Mosquito Fleet.

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