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Archive for  March 2017

Friday 31, Mar 2017

England Legend Fears Over Doping In Elite Rugby

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Former England captain and Coach Martin Johnson has remarked the use of banned performance enhancing drugs is a major concern for the Rugby Union.

Johnson blamed the switch from the amateur to professional era for it. The former England captain remarked the game is professional now and we live in a different time where kids can see a livelihood and a good livelihood out of doing it, then you have got to be very careful.

Johnson believes there is a reason to be worried about the increasing use of banned substances with 14 out of 42 athletes banned in the past two years by UK Anti-Doping coming from Rugby Union in England and Wales. Johnson, who led England to 2003 World Cup victory, remarked he never felt anyone around the international teams was using drugs during his playing days. The former England captain said things are more available today and knowledge of it is more widespread because of the internet. Johnson added people are using drugs, by all account, for vanity reasons.

The former World Cup winning captain’s concern is likely to bring the prevalence of steroid use in the club game back into the game’s spotlight. The Leicester star, who captained the 1997 Lions on the victorious tour of South Africa, distanced himself from a return to rugby. Johnson said he is presently enjoying having ‘a normal life’ outside of rugby and added you must have a burning passion to stay in the game.

Johnson won five Premiership titles with Leicester and two Heineken Cups before adding the World Cup with England in 2003. The former No 4 turned out 362 times for the east Midlands clubs and picked up nine trophies in a 17-year career at Welford Road. Considered as one of the greatest locks ever to have played, Johnson became the new England team manager on 1 July 2008 to replace the previous manager Brian Ashton, but left the post in November 2011 after the quarter final defeat of England at the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Regarded as one of England’s greatest ever players, Johnson celebrated the first of his 5 league titles in 1995. He was formally appointed Leicester’s captain after returning from the victorious 1997 Lions tour. He continued to play for Leicester until 2005.

The former England captain made his test debut against France in January 1993 when he was unexpectedly summoned to replace the injured Wade Dooley. Later, he went on to become part of the side that won the 1995 Grand Slam. Under the leadership of Johnson, England moved away from being a forward-dominated side after Lawrence Dallaglio was caught in a News of the World sting operation. Johnson became the only man to captain twice when he was again asked to lead the Lions tour to Australia in 2001. Johnson became the third England captain after John Pullin and Will Carling to beat Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand after beating the All Blacks 31–28 in 2002.

In 2009, former England and Bath prop Matt Stevens was the last high profile player to be banned from the sport when he tested positive for cocaine.

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Wednesday 29, Mar 2017

World Archery Warns Of Potential Anti-Doping Dangers Of Beauty Products And Supplements

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A notice has been issued by World Archery to all of its National Federations regarding the potential anti-doping issues involved with the use of beauty products and supplements.

Two athletes were found to have committed anti-doping rule violations for the presence of Sibutramine, the prohibited substance, in the past year. The substance was ingested either through contaminated nutritional supplements or beauty products. Both archers received doping bans between six and eight months. The sport’s governing body did not disclose information about the identity of the two archers. However, it was disclosed by the disciplinary panels that the athletes took the substance unintentionally.

A statement from World Archery reads that it has issued an anti-doping notice to remind athletes to check the contents of any supplement or product and strongly consider the possible implications of consumption. The statement further reads that prohibited substances may be added deliberately during a product’s manufacturing process or included inadvertently through contamination and also added that the prohibited substance in many cases is not listed on the product’s ingredient label. The statement also reads that athletes are solely responsible for any substance that enters their body and therefore strongly advised to consult a doctor, specialist or their national anti-doping agency before consuming any sort of dietary or beauty supplement.

Any athlete who is competing in a world record status or world ranking competition, according to World Archery rules, may be tested for anti-doping purposes while additional controls at other events could be imposed by National Federations.

Jay Lyon, the Commonwealth Games silver medalist, is presently serving a doping ban of two years following a failed drugs test. The 30-year-old Lyon won the individual silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and claimed he “never intentionally took anything”.

Lyon received a suspension until May 19, 2018 after he tested positive for the banned stimulant Oxilofrine. The stimulant that is not a controlled substance in North America is said to be present in a number of products that has subsequently resulted in athletes being caught out. Some of the high-profile athletes testing positive for the substance include Jamaica’s Olympic champion sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson. They were both banned for a period of 18 months each before the Court of Arbitration for Sport slashed their suspensions to just six months.

In another development, an agreement was formalized between World Archery and the Archery Trade Association (ATA) in the build-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Under the agreement, both parties initially signed a commitment to join forces before the fourth stage of the Indoor Archery World Cup season in Las Vegas. The ATA represents the interests of manufacturers, distributors, retailers, sales representatives, and others working in the archery industry.

A World Archery statement reads that formalizing of the agreement is an indication of the two organizations’ shared vision for a world in which everyone has the opportunity to make archery their activity of choice in the communities where they live. World Archery secretary general Tom Dielen remarked the ATA and World Archery have been collaborating on projects for a number of years. Dielen added this MoU formalizes our commitment to continue that relationship, working together for the betterment of archery – and through shared expertise, better approaching the challenges and opportunities we face as a community.

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Monday 27, Mar 2017

Noah Banned 20 Games For Doping

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New York Knicks center Joakim Noah, the son of French tennis legend Yannick Noah, was suspended by the NBA for 20 games without pay after he failed a doping test.

Noah will forfeit between $2 million and $3 million in salary during the suspension. The exact amount is not clear as the formula in the new CBA for lost salary during a suspension results in lower monetary penalties for players.

The league announced Noah, who has not played since undergoing left knee surgery last month, tested positive for LGD-4033, a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator, which is known to produce effects similar to those of anabolic steroids. It is popular as a non-steroidal, selective androgen receptor modulator that is renowned for its ability to help increase muscle mass and strength.  LGD-4033 provides many of the muscle-building and therapeutic benefits of testosterone, without the same level of troublesome side effects.

It was remarked by the league in a statement that unintentional ingestion claims would be considered under rules of the league-union deal starting in July and added it did not think under those future terms Noah would have faced any punishment. The union statement further reads that the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) believes after a thorough investigation did not intentionally or knowingly violate any policy and added neither Noah nor the union will appeal the suspension. The union statement also said we believe that this isolated occurrence was a regrettable mistake and Joakim has offered his deepest apologies for this infraction. Noah was “completely forthcoming and cooperative” throughout the investigation, the NBPA said.

The ban on Noah will begin with the first NBA regular-season or playoff game for which he is eligible and physically able to play that means Noah figures to miss the start of next season. The Knicks at 27-45 are all-but eliminated from the playoff hunt. They share 12th in the NBA’s Eastern Conference and trail Miami by eight games for the final playoff berth.

Noah has averaged 5.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 46 games this season for the Knicks. The two-time NBA All-Star, who was named the league’s 2014 Defensive Player of the Year, has been nagged by a hamstring injury earlier this season and underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on February 4. The 32-year-old holds US, French and Swedish citizenship and first made his mark as a collegiate star at Florida where he led the Gators to consecutive US national tournament titles in 2006 and 2007. Noah played for Chicago until last July after being selected ninth overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 2007 NBA Draft when he signed a four-year deal worth $72 million with the Knicks.

The Knicks signed Noah to a four-year, $72 million contract over the summer as a defensive anchor for the club but Noah has performed well below expectations and missed time throughout the season because of a hamstring injury.

The suspension of Noah may force the Knicks to look for a veteran center in free agency. Veteran Kyle O’Quin, Rookie Willy Hernangomez, and second-year big man Kristaps Porzingis have started at center in place of Noah this season.

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Saturday 25, Mar 2017

Athletes Warned About Potentially Dangerous DMAA By MHRA

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The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the executive agency of the Department of Health in the United Kingdom, has issued a warning as a significant number of products containing DMAA continue to be found on sale in the United Kingdom.

MHRA urged athletes at all levels of sport to steer clear of the potentially dangerous ingredient DMAA. It recently launched a ‘Week of Action’ between January 30 and February 5 supported by a number of leading national organizations to alert people to the potential dangers.

DMAA (Methylhexanamine or Methylhexamine, commonly known as 1, 3-dimethylamylamine) can be found in unlicensed medicines that are marketed as sports supplements. It has been associated with high blood pressure, tightening in the chest, strokes, heart attacks, and even death. DMAA, named on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Prohibited List, is banned during sports competition and the safety concerns are well documented.

MHRA Medicines Borderline Section Manager, Dr Chris Jones said we as always will continue to take robust action when unlicensed medicinal products containing DMAA come to our attention. Dr Jones added we first removed these products from sale in 2012, and will protect public health by continuing to do so. The MHRA Medicines Borderline Section Manager also remarked that any companies, although the sale of DMAA products has dropped since 2012, selling this unlicensed medicine is one company too many.

British Weight Lifting CEO, Ashley Metcalfe, commented that weightlifting is a fantastic sport, not least because of the health and wellbeing benefits associated with strength training. Metcalfe added it is very important, as with all sports that lifters participate in a safe and controlled manner, and are aware of the dangers of taking anything that could be potentially harmful – as has been proven with DMAA. The British Weight Lifting CEO also remarked that we are proud to support this campaign and hope that it encourages lifters that wish to use sports supplements to choose only those that are properly regulated, and remain well-informed about the dangers of using unlicensed medicines.

UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive, Nicole Sapstead said any athlete who takes supplements containing DMAA in-competition – either deliberately or inadvertently – is not only risking their career, but is also risking their health. Sapstead also remarked if you are considering taking a supplement make sure you assess the need first by speaking to a qualified nutritionist and if you need to take a supplement, make sure you understand the risks and consequences by undertaking thorough research.

ESSNA Chair, Dr Adam Carey said we fully support the MHRA’s efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of supplements that contain DMAA. Carey added that MHRA has classified such products as medicinal products and they have no place in legitimate sports nutrition supplements. The ESSNA Chair also commented that the dangers of consuming DMAA are significant and well-proven. Carey added that we urge all sportspeople to avoid it at all costs – and emphasize that sportsmen and women can only do this by making sure they’re only buying their sports supplements from responsible and reputable retailers.

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Thursday 23, Mar 2017

British Wrestler Handed Ban Of Four Years For Doping

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Chinu Sandhu, the British wrestler who won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 2014, has been banned for a period of four years after he tested positive for an anabolic steroid.

The Indian-born Sandhu, who is based in the West Midlands, is banned from all sport from October 14, 2016, until midnight on October 13, 2020. Sandhu, also known as Chinu Chinu or Chinu Xxx, tested positive for a metabolite of Stanozolol, an exogenous anabolic androgenic steroid, following an out-of-competition test on 20 September 2016. The wrestler was subsequently charged following the test with an ADRV pursuant to article 2.1 of the World Anti-Doping Code – “Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in an Athlete’s Sample”.

The news was described by British Wrestling as “extremely disappointing” after the 29-year-old, who competed in the 125kg men’s freestyle, failed an out-of-competition drugs test. The claim of unintentional use by the eight-time British wrestling champion was rejected by a three-person national anti-doping panel that imposed the maximum four-year sanction for first-time offenders.

The British wrestler had originally blamed the positive test for Stanozolol (Winstrol) on medication he was taking but then said it came about as a result of taking a contaminated supplement.

In a press release, UK Anti-Doping chief executive Nicole Sapstead said Chinu Sandhu was one of this country’s leading freestyle wrestlers, having won a bronze medal at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and represented Great Britain at the European Games in Baku in 2015. Sapstead added it is sad that his reputation within the sport has been tainted because of his own actions. The UKAD chief executive said athletes are solely responsible for any substance which is found in their system, regardless of whether there is an intention to cheat or not and further commented that no one can ever guarantee that a supplement is free from prohibited substances and taking them will always carry an element of risk.

Sapstead also said that our advice is clear – before taking any supplement, athletes must assess the need and remarked it is then imperative that they assess the risk of use by carrying out thorough research through websites such as informed-sport.com. The chief executive of UK Anti-Doping also remarked finally athletes must fully understand the consequences of taking supplements and decide whether a potential four-year ban from sport is worth it.

Few months back, Vahid Hosseinpoor, a 32-year-old freestyle wrestler, who was previously banned in 2014, was suspended for a further 12 months after breaching the terms of his ban. Hosseinpoor originally received a doping ban of two years from 3 June 2014 to 2 June 2016 after testing positive for Tamoxifen, following an in-competition test at the 2014 BWA British Senior Wrestling Championships. Intelligence was received by UK Anti-Doping in May 2016 that Hosseinpoor may have breached the terms of his ban by undertaking training with the YMCA Wildcats Wrestling club in early 2015. Hosseinpoor is banned from all sport from 2 June 2016 until midnight on 1 June 2017.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: British Wrestler Handed Ban Of Four Years For Doping

Tuesday 21, Mar 2017

Doping In Sport ‘Fast Becoming A Crisis’, Says UKAD Chief

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UK Anti-Doping chief Nicole Sapstead has described recently-revealed figures of a BBC poll into doping in amateur sport as “incredibly alarming”.

The BBC poll revealed more than a third (35 percent) of amateur sports people say they personally know someone who has doped, and 8 percent said they had taken anabolic steroids. Half of the poll population said they believe the use of performance enhancing drugs is “widespread” among those who play sport competitively. Of the 79 people interviewed who had specifically taken anabolic steroids, 41 percent remarked improving performance was the main reason for taking them, followed by pain relief (40 percent) and improving how they look (34 percent).

Only 25 percent of users overall claim they have taken performance-enhancing substances with the intention of improving performance. The poll also found that over half say they were primarily used for pain relief, while 17 percent say they were used to improve looks. Sapstead added she thinks there are clearly a group of individuals seeking to enhance their performance by taking prohibited substances and added then there are others who were taking these substances because they have a body image problem, or actually because they think it is the done thing.

A BBC State of Sport investigation into doping in UK amateur sport also found that 49 percent thought performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) were “easily available” among people who play sports on a regular basis.

UK Anti-Doping figures said the national body responsible for protecting clean sport and there are currently 52 athletes and coaches serving bans. Of them, only 12 percent are professional sports men or women; 62 percent are amateurs, 21 percent are semi-professional, and 5 percent are coaches.

UK Anti-Doping chief, reacting to the ComRes poll for BBC Sport of more than 1,000 men and women who are members of sports clubs and teams, said the figures as regards the prevalence of performance-enhancing substances at an amateur level are incredibly alarming. Sapstead remarked certainly the figures as regards the prevalence of performance-enhancing substances at an amateur level are incredibly alarming and added it does confirm what UK Anti-Doping has long suspected and also seen through some of our intelligence-led testing.

Sapstead said she does not think any sport can say that they don’t have a problem at an amateur level. The UKAD chief also commented that she thinks now is the time for everybody to sit up and acknowledge that this is a reality in every single sport and that you cannot just be washing your hands of it or hoping that someone else will address it. Sapstead also remarked that UK Anti-Doping requires an extension of powers and extra cash from individual sports governing bodies to address what is fast becoming a crisis for sport.

Sapstead also remarked there is a “woeful lack of education” at amateur level about the health risks of doping and commented that there is a “robust” anti-doping program in the United Kingdom but it faces “challenges”. UK Anti-Doping works with police forces to target suppliers of drugs to amateur dopers.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Doping In Sport ‘Fast Becoming A Crisis’, Says UKAD Chief

Sunday 19, Mar 2017

Conflicts Of Interest Within WADA Questioned By USADA Chief

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Travis Tygart, chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), has remarked that it is just not possible to promote and police sport. Tygart reiterated the belief of his organization that conflicts of interest need to be removed from the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Tygart, speaking at WADA’s Annual Symposium, insisted that the World Anti-Doping Agency failed to live up to its promise of tacking cheating while sports bodies were represented on the organization. Tygart added we have been really clear since our beginning that you cannot both promote and police your own sport and added he thinks you now see different National Anti-Doping Organizations have all come out and supported a basic principle.

Tygart also remarked you see the United States Olympic Committee, one of the influential National Olympic Committees in the world, coming out supporting that basic principle and also commented that we are just living in the trenches, making really tough decisions in situations that no one would want to find themselves in.

The USADA chief executive also said we have yet to hear any good reason why sport needs to have the type of say and control over those types of decisions that it currently does. Tygart said therefore it is right to say that you can’t both promote and police and you need to remove the conflict of interests that sport organizations bring to it not only to restore confidence in the system, but to ensure that the preventative things that need to be put in place to give athletes hope that they’re not going to get robbed when they compete internationally are made and finalized, and they have confidence in that system.

      Tygart, referring to the reinstatement of Russia, also said WADA President laid it out that there is still significant work to be done and let us hope the promises of improvement are followed up.

Few days back, it was disclosed that a radical plan for excluding anybody involved in sporting governance from a WADA Board position had been included among a set of United States Olympic Committee (USOC) reform proposals. These proposals, included in a “position paper on anti-doping reform” published on March 10, were announced following discussions at the USADA Quarterly Board meeting in Colorado Springs.

The Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations (iNADO) proposed “concrete measures” aimed at reforming the governing structures of WADA. Proposed to the WADA Governance Working Group, the measures were announced during iNADO’s Annual General Meeting here in the Olympic capital. The measures include the call for the removal of the fundamental conflict of interest that exists when anti-doping decisions are controlled by sport organizations.

The executive arm of WADA still includes several officials from major world governing bodies and International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials. WADA President Sir Craig Reedie relinquished his role as vice-president of the IOC last year but remains a member of the organization. Reedie insisted that the conflict of interest argument against him has “ceased absolutely” since he gave up his vice-presidency of the IOC.

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Friday 17, Mar 2017

Declaration On Global Anti-Doping Reforms Unveiled By IOC Board

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The executive Board members of International Olympic Committee (IOC) have insisted that governments and sports organizations must be “represented equally” in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The IOC executive board also recommended a a completely “neutral” President as vice-president of WADA as well as the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) assuming sanctioning responsibility. The Court of Arbitration for Sport, rather than the World Anti-Doping Agency would also be responsible for sanctioning all organizations deemed non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code.

The section on WADA governance reads since the sports organizations and the Governments are both founding stakeholders on an equal basis, they must be represented equally on the WADA Foundation Board and Executive Committee. It was also added that the role of athletes on the Foundation Board and Executive Committee must be strengthened and the representation of athletes must be elected (not appointed as now) athlete representatives. The WADA governance section also said the WADA Boards should also include independent members.

The IOC declaration also made it clear that they consider interest conflicts as just as much of a problem for Government representatives. It added WADA must be equally independent from both sports organizations and from national interests as this is necessary because even the perception of a conflict of interest can be considered damaging to the credibility of the anti-doping system. The declaration by IOC further reads that this with regard to national interests is particularly important because of the recent challenges to the system from certain NADOs, from disputes between different NADOs, and from appeals by IFs against decisions of National Anti-Doping Institutions.

The suggestions made by the IOC board directly contradicts the core theme of a United States Olympic Committee (USOC) position paper that proposed no person serving in a governance role in the IOC, any NOC (National Olympic Committee), any IF (International Federation), or ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committees) would serve in a WADA Board role. It was also proposed that WADA would be responsible for compliance monitoring including investigation of all code signatories.

It was agreed by the IOC that there should be no sporting involvement in testing and sanctioning. However, it insisted that it would be pointless to exclude all experts from the organization completely. IOC Presidential spokesperson Mark Adams remarked the call by some that there should be no expertise in sport in the governance of an organization which is looking into doping in sport, is plainly ridiculous. Adams further commented that all governance involves experts in the subjects and also remarked what is important is to have a separation between the governance and the prosecution of the cases, in other words the sanctioning and the investigation. The IOC Presidential spokesperson also remarked if those two are kept separate from the governance then you have a good, well-run system which runs along the separation of powers.

IOC President Thomas Bach has also requested a meeting with Sir Craig Reedie, the WADA President, and Richard McLaren, the author of the WADA-commissioned investigation into Russian doping.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Declaration On Global Anti-Doping Reforms Unveiled By IOC Board

Wednesday 15, Mar 2017

Ben Rothwell Flagged By USADA For Potential Doping Violation

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Ben Rothwell, the American mixed martial artist who competes as a Heavyweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, has been flagged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

The UFC announced the 35-year-old Rothwell is facing a UFC anti-doping policy violation stemming from a Feb. 6 sample collection. The UFC and USADA do not disclose the substance-in-question until the completion of the adjudication process unless the athlete decides to divulge it first.

Rothwell was expected to face Fabricio Werdum at UFC 211 on May 13 in Dallas. A Wisconsin native, Rothwell was on a four-fight winning streak before he lost via unanimous decision to Junior dos Santos in April 2016. The fighter was expected to meet Werdum last September, but withdrew due to injury.

In a statement, Rothwell remarked that he would like to take this time to let everyone know that he had been under the care of a physician and trying to overcome a medical illness. Rothwell (36-10) added he would appreciate the chance to show that he had not cheated nor did he intend to cheat. The American mixed martial artist also asked people to hold their opinions of him until all the facts are out and added he would appreciate everyone’s support as he goes through the process with the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

In 2013, Rothwell was suspended by the UFC for a period of nine months for elevated testosterone levels stemming from an in-competition sample collected in relation to his UFC 164 fight with Brandon Vera. At the time, Rothwell was a user of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) but tested for levels outside the threshold despite having a valid therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for the bout. However, Rothwell was not suspended by the Wisconsin Athletic Commission.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency will take into account details of the first failed drug test during its adjudication process to determine sanction length.

Recently, a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) was granted to Cris Cyborg after she was flagged for a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation back in December.

Ben Rothwell is best known for competing for the Quad Cities Silverbacks of the International Fight League where he held an undefeated 9–0 record before leaving the promotion because of a contract dispute. The #5 in official UFC Heavyweight rankings, Rothwell has also had one-fight stints in Affliction, M-1 Global, and King of the Cage. In early 2001, Rothwell made his professional debut and won by TKO only 21 seconds into the fight. Rothwell then went on to win his next three fights, all under two minutes into the first round and all with strikes.

The fighter then faced Tim Sylvia, the future two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion and fellow Miletich Fighting Systems fighter but lost. Rothwell however managed to come out of the defeat and won his next seven fights, all by submission or TKO. Rothwell made his UFC debut at UFC 104 against undefeated Cain Velasquez on October 24, 2009 and lost controversially via TKO one minute into round two as Rothwell seemed to be getting to his feet as the referee Steve Mazzagatti stopped the fight.

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Monday 13, Mar 2017

Essendon Sought Help Of Underworld Figure In Doping Case

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Underworld enforcer Mick Gatto has claimed a senior official of the Essendon Football Club approached him at the height of the drugs saga to find out what was going on with it all.

The Bombers are locked in a bitter legal battle with Dean Wallis, dual premiership hero, and ex-team manager John Elliott — the latter alleging that bosses reached out to Gatto. The father of Elliott remarked he in late 2014 had a cafe meeting with a senior Bombers official (whom Bombers denied had dealings with Gatto) who had asked him to arrange a meeting with the Carlton identity.

Previously, it was reported by the Herald Sun that Elliott Jr. had alleged in a signed statement as part of a compensation action that he was asked to set up a meeting off-site with Mick Gatto, an external well-known dispute resolution specialist in November 2014. Elliott Jr. had also commented that the purpose of the meeting was in regard to obtaining information from Shane Charter, who was a supplier to Stephen Dank.

However, Bombers chairman Lindsay Tanner insisted it was Gatto who came to the club offering help, and he was knocked back. Tanner remarked allegations of an official having dealings with Mick Gatto are false. The claims of Tanner were rejected by Elliott Sr. who said he was asked to set up a meeting with Gatto in a meeting at The Delicious Afare cafe in Strathmore held with the official in late 2014. Elliott Sr. added a third party could verify that cafe rendezvous and also commented that he organized a meeting within three days but the Essendon official pulled out due to another commitment. Elliott Sr. also remarked he told Gatto that the meeting would not go ahead as planned and also remarked the official later said he did not wish to proceed with the meeting and that was the end of it.

Tanner dismissed the allegations of Elliott as the acts of disgruntled ex-employees who have made a number of false and unsubstantiated allegations against the club. Tanner added allegations of dealings with Mick Gatto are false and also remarked inappropriate demands and threats made upon Essendon Football Club have been reported to the AFL Integrity Department Victoria Police have been contacted on its advice. Tanner did not respond to the claims of Elliott Sr. regarding Gatto but remarked he is advised by his predecessor Paul Little that he was approached by Mick Gatto offering his assistance and this offer was declined.

Gatto said he did get embroiled in it and he was approached. The underworld enforcer in an interview by The Footy Show star Sam Newman at a Lygon St restaurant said it would not be very professional of him to divulge who he met and added they just wanted me to find out what was going on with it all and what he could find out and have a feel around.

Police is presently investigating a “report of a blackmail matter” after it was remarked by the Bombers that they had lodged a complaint regarding alleged threats.

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