Dank calls for inquiry into AFL saga

Sports scientist Stephen Dank wants a government inquiry into the AFL’s Essendon supplements scandal.

As Dank awaits his verdict from the AFL anti-doping tribunal, he said there was an attempt to “bastardise” the investigation into what happened at Essendon during the 2012 season.

Dank confirmed he will initiate his own legal action once the tribunal hands down its finding.

He said on Tuesday night that comments from various high-profile figures about the number of injections administered to Essendon players in his supplements program amounted to character assassination.

But in his interview on Sky TV, Dank was not asked for his own estimate on the number of injections.

“From my point of view, I would like to see something in relation to a Senate inquiry,” Dank said of the joint AFL-ASADA investigation.

Dank, who refused to meet with ASADA investigators, said he would have co-operated with authorities in different circumstances.

“They tried to bastardise the process, that’s why we went through what we went through for two and a bit years,” he said.

On March 31, the same AFL anti-doping tribunal that is about to pass judgment on Dank also found 34 current and past Essendon players not guilty of doping offences.

At the time, the tribunal said it would announce a verdict on Dank after Easter.

The key reason for the tribunal finding the players not guilty is that there was no direct evidence of what they were given in the supplements program.

“The appalling part of all that is that you’ve had a number of people … for them to simply, loosely, throw around numbers (of injections), and quote numbers, to me is a blatant disregard to what evidence is there,” he said.

“In some ways, it is direct character assassination – and that’s fine, we’ll meet that head-on in court.

“But the real bottom line from my point of view is they’re simply trying to structure information to obtain the end result they want.”

Dank insists he gave the players Thymomodulin, which is permitted under the anti-doping code, and not the banned Thymosin beta-4.

Dank added detailed paperwork was kept on the supplements program while he was at the club.

“We kept quite a deal of paperwork, for want of a better term, at the football club,” he said.

“That particular paperwork was crucial to the management of the program.

“I left them with Essendon on the day I left the football club … they are the property of Essendon.”

Dank added he also kept computer spreadsheets, documenting the supplements given to players.

“They have obviously somehow disintegrated, because those records were intact and complete,” he said.

And Dank insists that the supplements program had Essendon’s blessing.

“I had plenty of support while I was there,” he said.

“They all knew the processes, they all knew what was happening and suddenly I’m finding out about issues post-February (2013).”

Dank again blasted ASADA, again saying he was never going to co-operate with its investigation.

“In our view, the whole investigation has been highly corrupted and highly contaminated,” he said.

Dank is now waiting to go to court.

“We were always resolute about taking this on in court,” he said.

“We’ve worked out our court action.

“I guess the depth of that court action depends on the (tribunal) finding.”

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