Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) today acknowledged the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to impose two year bans on 34 current and former Essendon Football Club players for the use of the prohibited substance Thymosin Beta 4.
The CAS result is final and overturns the decision of the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal announced in March 2015. It comes in response to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) appeal of that Tribunal decision, which ASADA assisted in and strongly supported.
Despite the absence of positive test results, WADA was able to use evidence gathered by ASADA to prove that the players had been injected with the prohibited substance as part of a team program designed to give Essendon an unfair advantage in the 2012 season.
The evidence included text messages outlining a plan to source Thymosin Beta 4 for the purpose of doping the Essendon team, testimonies from players and officials, and a scientific analysis of substances sourced for the team.
It is the same evidence ASADA presented to the AFL Tribunal, however the different outcome represents the proper application of the burden of proof – comfortable satisfaction – as intended by the World Anti-Doping Code.
ASADA CEO Ben McDevitt said: “This unfortunate episode has chronicled the most devastating self-inflicted injury by a sporting club in Australian history.”
On the sanctions, he said: “There were very little grounds for the players to claim they were at no significant fault.”
“The players had received anti-doping education through the AFL and ASADA, and were well aware that they are personally responsible for all substances that entered their body.”
“Unfortunately, despite their education, they agreed to be injected with a number of substances they had little knowledge of, made no enquiries about the substance and kept the injections from their team doctor and ASADA.”
“Of 30 ASADA testing missions during the period in question, none of the 18 players tested declared the injections, despite being asked each time whether they had taken any supplements.”
“At best, the players did not ask the questions, or the people, they should have. At worst, they were complicit in a culture of secrecy and concealment.”
“The CAS result brings this matter to a close and ASADA looks forward to continuing to work with all sporting codes to promote a clean and fair sporting environment.”
The two-year ban imposed by the CAS has been backdated on a case by case basis, with respect to time already served by the players who accepted provisional suspensions in 2013, and delays to the case outside of the players’ control.
The table below shows the sanctions applied to each player. Until then, each player is ineligible to participate, as an athlete or support person, in any sports that have adopted a World Anti-Doping Agency compliant anti-doping policy.
Expiry of ineligibility
|Thomas Bellchambers||13 November 2016|
|Alex Browne||13 November 2016|
|Jake Carlisle||13 November 2016|
|Travis Colyer||13 November 2016|
|Stewart Crameri||13 November 2016|
|Alwyn Davey||15 February 2017|
|Luke Davis||13 November 2016|
|Cory Dell’Olio||14 November 2016|
|Ricky Dyson||13 November 2016|
|Dustin Fletcher||21 November 2016|
|Scott Gumbleton||13 November 2016|
|Kyle Hardingham||13 November 2016|
|Dyson Heppell||13 November 2016|
|Michael Hibberd||13 November 2016|
|David Hille||13 November 2016|
|Heath Hocking||13 November 2016|
|Cale Hooker||13 November 2016|
|Ben Howlett||13 November 2016|
|Michael Hurley||13 November 2016|
|Leroy Jetta||15 February 2017|
|Brendan Lee||13 November 2016|
|Sam Lonergan||13 November 2016|
|Nathan Lovett-Murray||15 December 2016|
|Mark McVeigh||13 November 2016|
|Jake Melksham||13 November 2016|
|Angus Monfries||13 November 2016|
|David Myers||13 November 2016|
|Tayte Pears||13 November 2016|
|Brent Prismall||13 November 2016|
|Patrick Ryder||13 November 2016|
|Henry Slattery||13 November 2016|
|Brett Stanton||13 November 2016|
|Ariel Steinberg||13 November 2016|
|Jobe Watson||21 November 2016|
• This media release was originally published on Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency’s internet site on 12 January 2016. To access the original, please click here.
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