ASADA reopens AFL investigation

Stephen Dank’s startling media admission that he supplied a banned substance to AFL defender Nathan Bock has prompted an ASADA about-face.

Four days after the national anti-doping agency defended its decision not to appeal against an AFL tribunal verdict, ASADA has announced it is reopening the investigation.

On Tuesday night, the Herald Sun quoted sports scientist Dank as saying he had supplied Nathan Bock with the banned substance CJC-1295 while the defender was playing for Gold Coast.

Dank was asked whether there was any doubt that the substance he sourced for Bock in late 2010 was CJC-1295.

He was quoted as saying: “No. There is no doubt in my mind”.

Dank’s comments prompted a statement from ASADA on Wednesday afternoon, saying it would look into the matter again.

But ASADA also said Dank was continuing to not cooperate.

That has been the case since the supplements debacles involving Essendon and NRL club Cronulla broke more than three years ago.

“ASADA considers all information relating to potential anti-doping violations, and this new information, particularly its veracity, will be assessed by our investigation unit,” ASADA said.

“Over the last three years, Mr Dank has consistently refused to speak to ASADA’s investigators.

“ASADA spoke with Mr Dank today, and he again refused to offer any assistance or information.

“Mr Dank’s alleged admissions overnight are starkly at odds with his previous position on the matter, as ASADA notes he is currently appealing the AFL tribunal’s finding that he attempted to traffic CJC-1295 to the Gold Coast Suns.”

While the AFL anti-doping tribunal found Dank guilty of attempting to traffic CJC-1295 to the Suns, it also found him not guilty of trafficking.

ASADA confirmed on Saturday that it had decided not to appeal against the trafficking verdict.

The anti-doping agency decided there was insufficient evidence.

On Saturday ASADA also denied it had a vendetta against any club or person, after a media report noting it had backed WADA’s appeal against the 34 current and past Essendon players.

That WADA appeal to CAS succeeded and 17 current AFL players are now serving doping suspensions.

In April last year, the AFL anti-doping tribunal found Dank guilty of 10 breaches and cleared him of 24 others.

Two months later, the league gave him a lifetime ban.

ASADA also said on Wednesday that it approached the Herald Sun journalist who wrote the story to provide details of the conversations he had with Dank.

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