Press releases 12 January 2016

ASADA acknowledge CAS decision on Essendon players

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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