Most Australian regulators have star chamber powers – they can interrogate witnesses and draw all sorts of conclusions without the normal rules of evidence applying. It is an absolute disgrace and should be opposed at every turn.
Here we see more evidence of ASADA bungling even before it acquired star chamber powers.
All Essendon players interviewed by ASADA were asked whether they were given Thymosin, a substance ASADA suspects was Thymosin Beta-4 but which Essendon and its former sports scientist Stephen Dank maintain was Thymomodulin.
Thymosin Beta 4 and Thymomodulin are both peptides extracted from the thymus gland of cows and referred to as Thymosin. Thymosin Beta 4 is banned by the World Anti-Doping Authority, Thymomodulin is not.
While a handful of Essendon players recalled being given a substance referred to as Thymosin by Dank, others were more vague. One senior player listed under an appendix of the report titled “admitted use of substances by players and officials” told investigators: “Thymosin is ringing a bell.”
Another said: “Like, I’ve definitely heard the word but, you know, I wouldn’t be able to tell you if I was injected with it or not.”
A third player included in the appendix said: “I’m not sure but it is just a familiar name to me. I’m not sure if I did or not but.”
According to the ASADA report, 11 Essendon players admitted to being injected with Thymosin and seven with the contentious peptide AOD9604.
On the basis of comments like that, ASADA concluded:
The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority claims 11 Essendon players admitted to using a form of Thymosin throughout the 2012 season.
There is a reason why we should insist that any and all allegations of wrong-doing by the state be brought in open court and all allegations tested. In fact, I would go further – the state has no business bringing civil actions against individuals. If its not an actual crime the state shouldn’t intervene beyond enforcing contracts.