ASADA boss Ben McDevitt fires back at Dank

ASADA boss Ben McDevitt has returned fire on Stephen Dank as the AFL anti-doping tribunal deliberates over the controversial sports scientist.

One of the key features of McDevitt’s lengthy media conference on Wednesday was his public demand for Dank to produce any records relating to the 2012 Essendon supplements program.

“I call once again upon Stephen Dank – if you have got records, produce them,” the ASADA chief executive said.

But given Dank’s stance throughout the Essendon supplements scandal, and his scathing comments after the tribunal’s findings on Tuesday, that will not happen.

Dank was unrepentant after the tribunal’s landmark judgment, where 34 current and former Essendon players were found not guilty of taking the banned substance Thymosin beta-4.

The sports scientist is also before the tribunal on charges relating to the Essendon supplements program and his verdict will be known after Easter.

“They’ve been very, very poor in their conduct, execution and understanding of this whole investigation,” Dank said of ASADA.

“The players never took anything that was illegal or anything that was against the WADA-prohibited list.

“The players were not guilty of anything. I’m very happy for the players.”

Dank also said the AFL had stage-managed the long-running investigation.

On Wednesday, McDevitt accused Dank of having mixed messages about whether there were any records of what the Essendon players were given.

“No party has disputed that Stephen Dank played a central and critical role, the lead role in administering the injections,” McDevitt said.

“Stephen Dank has publicly stated that extensive records of the injection regime were kept but, throughout this investigation, no such records have been found.

“Curiously, Mr Dank, in a statutory declaration provided to ASADA, in response to a disclosure notice, declared he had no documents to produce.”

McDevitt was later asked if he thinks Dank has records.

“All the evidence that I have seen probably would indicate if there were records, they would be shambolic and chaotic,” he said.

McDevitt is looking forward to the tribunal’s verdict on him as ASADA considers an appeal against the players’ acquittals.

“We eagerly await that component from the tribunal because Stephen Dank was the alleged architect here and so it will be very interesting to see what the findings are and what the reasons behind those findings are from the tribunal,” he said.

“It will certainly enable us to make a more informed decision.”

He added ASADA had tried several times to make Dank reveal what he knows about the supplements program.

“ASADA has tried to get Mr Dank, on multiple occasions, to come forward and to be interviewed,” McDevitt said.

“He has refused to do that.

“We have issued disclosure notices to him and he has refused to respond.

“He is the one who has constantly come out publicly saying that at the right time, apparently, he will come out and support the players.

“I think that time has come and gone and still no sign of Mr Dank.”

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