Key points from the CAS decision


Stephen Dank set out to test players with a new polymer used on horses in North America with compounding pharmacist Nima Alavi. In August he texted Alavi asking for “some help with this football team”.

DECISION: “Mr Alavi referred to ‘a new polymer’ (described as) ‘amazing and being used in the USA for elite horse racing … I can even put the Thymosin and AOD in it.’ From the balance of this conversation, it appeared there had been virtually no experiment on humans with the new substance, so Mr Dank said `let us test a couple of players’.”

The panel found “there is no suggestion that any Player intended to use a banned substance”. WADA argued the players effectively sleepwalked into accepting the treatment, partially because of the measures to cover it up.

DECISION: “There would be no reason to cast a veil of secrecy over something that was known positively to be lawful and innocent. In a desire … to gain every competitive advantage available, they were insufficiently careful as to nature of the regime that they were subjected.”

The players were active participants in the decision to cover up the supplements regime, led by Dank and former high performance manager Dean Robinson.

DECISION: “Breaches, in the panel’s view, sprang from a single source, namely a group decision by the Players on the direction of Mr Dank and Mr Robinson, to keep secret the nature (of) his new regime.”

Dank wanted the regime out of the spotlight, and specifically away from the club’s own TV show `The Hanger’. CAS looked poorly upon this.

DECISION: “Mr Dank also mentioned in a text message to Mr Hird dated 11 April 2012 the need for a `free run from media and club’ and that he was `especially worried about The Hanger trying to get too close’. This supports the inference of the desire of those inside the club in the know from keeping what was being done secret from any outsider.”

Players lied about the presence of Dank on the road with the team.

DECISION: “Several players insisted that Mr Dank was not present at away matches until confronted with a text message exchange that proved he was. This also undermines their credibility.”

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