The problem with star chambers

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.

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58 Responses to The problem with star chambers

  1. Peter56

    Who really cares what was in the drugs? It is just so blatantly true that all the Essendon players, who willingly were injected with drugs they knew not what, are fucking morons. But, football players do not need to be brain surgeons, all they need to do is play football. And they get the vacuous airhead girlfriends to complement them (with a few exceptions).

  2. Yohan

    When you reduce it to first principles, essentially its men running around on a grass field with a leather ball. What business does the Government have regulating and using its police powers to dictate what happens in this situation?

    People who believe the State does have a role in regulating the AFL, are really saying there is no limit to what the Government can do in any aspect of our lives.

  3. ChrisPer

    Alternatively, much of sport are carefuly sliding along the line to not be illegal and get the maximum advantage in any way they can. Why should that be any different to legitimate currency trading, car dealing or the practice of law? The issue is that the authorities fabricated extremely public charges based on very very tenuous interpretations of the evidence. The harm to individuals lives can be very bad indeed.

  4. Rafe

    One of my friends ran into Dank at an airport a few weeks ago. They met socially some time ago and they talked for a while before going on their ways. The report is that Dank was completely relaxed about the whole drug business and felt no sense of threat.

    It was my view from the start that some essential distinction were not being made.
    (1) who was using stuff. There was a fuss about trainers and other people at Essendon using things that might have been illegal for players, but that was beside the point.
    (2) what precisely was being used. Players are likely to be vague about the drugs because they are not trained to make fine pharmacological distinctions.
    (3) Were the substances banned at the time. Maybe some substances were used before they were put on the banned list, or defined as banned, given the complexities of what is legal and what is not.
    (4) Mode of administration. Some substances were banned for injection into veins (performance enhancing) but ok for injection into tissues (recovery).

    The guy who knew Dank said he started his career at Sydney Uni where they were prepared to spend big money to buy all the best players in the nation and back them up with the best training and rehab routines that sports medicine and their dept of pharmacology could provide. It was about rehab, getting players back on the field in the shortest possible time.

    On the topic of buying players, last year Eastwood and Sydney uni contested the A B C and D grade grand finals and uni won all four, the A grade by a massive margin. The Eastwood coach said it was a bit disconcerting to see a Super Fifteen Rugby player come off the bench for SU in B grade!

  5. Yohan

    From the start the Essendon/Dank case seemed like a witch hunt, with quite a few Melbourne journalists falling over themselves to misreport basic facts. It became a game of one journalist commenting on another journalists article. Something we saw a lot of during the Gonski backflip debacle.

    You have to give props to Gillard’s media advisor John McTernon. The press conference with all the AFL and Rugby chiefs, with Kate Lundy e.t.c, it was a masterstroke.
    Labor were being swamped by an unrelenting pressure at the time, and throwing Essendon and the AFL under the bus took over the front pages for the following 2 weeks.

  6. jupes

    You have to give props to Gillard’s media advisor John McTernon. The press conference with all the AFL and Rugby chiefs, with Kate Lundy e.t.c, it was a masterstroke.
    Labor were being swamped by an unrelenting pressure at the time, and throwing Essendon and the AFL under the bus took over the front pages for the following 2 weeks.

    Spot on Yohan. The ‘right thinking’ journalists fell for it hook, line and sinker as did the heads of the major sporting codes who brought their sport into disrepute around the world by assisting the Gillard government in this farce.

    Fat Andy I’m looking at you.

  7. Alfonso

    Oh my, so Dimitri WAS doing Jules a favour…… after all the posturing and press conferences by terrified tv paraded show trial AFL club CEOs…… no drug charges means it was all dust and the wind blew it all away.

  8. steve

    throwing Essendon and the AFL under the bus

    Essendon were thrown under a bus, the AFL, through the fat, hairy Greek, brought everything on themselves.

    Yes, I am looking at you Rafiki!

    Haven’t heard a word from the gossip columnist from the Age. Why has she gone to ground? Is it because she is embarrassed, or is it, as is more likely, that she has nothing to say without the Greek feeding her manure. Where are you, Ms Wilson?

  9. steve

    Alfonso, the wind blew any sense of justice away, but there are still many people that no longer have jobs, players that have had reputations tarnished, a football team that was punished without a trial and a legion of fans that have listened to a compliant media ream their team into submission without evidence.

    ALL PENALTIES SHOULD BE WITHDRAWN!!

  10. Megan

    Don’t worry, those ASADA infraction notices are…ahem…imminent. Surely?

  11. Alfonso

    Indeed Steve….
    The deafening lack of litigation from the “process is the punishment” / “I love Labor and will provide a distraction” victims is very curious.
    Are these boys poorly advised?

  12. Tom

    That’s right, Megan. However, the Gillard government, which is the only party that had the wisdom to warn us of the “blackest day in Australian sport”, has apparently taken the authorisations into exile. Nevertheless, Caroline Wilson won a Walkley Award and she would never wage a jihad based on her personal political hatreds against non-leftards in the football industry like James Hird and Paul Little, so the infraction notices will be issued any moment, any year now.

  13. Brett

    Oh give me a break. You people regularly tear into the legal profession and pile onto any negative stereotype of lawyers currently doing the rounds; and then, when people are pushed around by governments and other bodies that trample people rights, suddenly you are all calling for legal process and intervention. You are either committed to due process and and the role and rule of the rule of law, or you aren’t. You cannot constantly vilify lawyers and then scream for their intervention and protection when it it suddenly suits.

    The simple reason that none of this has found its way into the Courts is because the AFL cannot afford for that to happen; none of this would stand up to any form of scrutiny by reference to legal standards of proof and the laws of evidence. Hird will get his settlement because the AFL cannot afford to deny it to him; if he holds the line, they will cave. None of it will ever see the inside of a Court because to allow it to do so would expose the whole putrid put up job.

  14. Sinclair Davidson

    Who are “You people”?

  15. Brett

    Who are “You people”?

    It is a generalisation for what I perceive (0n a non scientific basis) to be a critical mass of the p0sters around here.

  16. stackja

    Brett
    #1125362, posted on December 27, 2013 at 7:43 pm
    Who are “You people”?
    It is a generalisation for what I perceive (0n a non scientific basis) to be a critical mass of the p0sters around here.

    Critical mass reminds me of the amount of fissile material needed to sustain nuclear fission.

  17. Rafe

    You people regularly tear into the legal profession and pile onto any negative stereotype of lawyers currently doing the rounds; and then… suddenly you are all calling for legal process and intervention.

    What if we respect the rule of law and due process, but we have a degree of suspicion for people who make hay out of bad law, especially IR law and law with a Nanny State or Big Government or left/progressive agenda?

  18. stackja

    Jupes
    #1125279, posted on December 27, 2013 at 6:36 pm
    You have to give props to Gillard’s media advisor John McTernon. The press conference with all the AFL and Rugby chiefs, with Kate Lundy e.t.c, it was a masterstroke.
    Labor were being swamped by an unrelenting pressure at the time, and throwing Essendon and the AFL under the bus took over the front pages for the following 2 weeks.
    Spot on Yohan. The ‘right thinking’ journalists fell for it hook, line and sinker as did the heads of the major sporting codes who brought their sport into disrepute around the world by assisting the Gillard government in this farce.
    Fat Andy I’m looking at you.

    Where is Lundy?

  19. Tintarella di Luna

    What if we respect the rule of law and due process, but we have a degree of suspicion for people who make hay out of bad law, especially IR law and law with a Nanny State or Big Government or left/progressive agenda?

    Rafe that’s when you bash the haymakers.

  20. Tintarella di Luna

    with pitchforks if necessary

  21. Tintarella di Luna

    and firebrands if it gets dark

  22. Token

    You are either committed to due process and and the role and rule of the rule of law, or you aren’t. You cannot constantly vilify lawyers and then scream for their intervention and protection when it it suddenly suits.

    Don’t you get it? We’d love to see due process in action.

    PS: Cry me a river about being vilified. I can name a dozen professions which have been given a server at this blog over time. Why are lawyers so thin skinned? Spend a year telling people you are a Collingwood or Manly supporter and then we can talk about “vilification”.

  23. Tintarella di Luna

    I know nothing about AFL but the fellow with the Greek name reminds me a lot of Arthur T George and how good was he for soccer? is it the same thing but AFL?

  24. Token

    Who really cares what was in the drugs? It is just so blatantly true that all the Essendon players, who willingly were injected with drugs they knew not what, are fucking morons.

    Anyone who was alive in the early 2000′s knows how Warne got suspended for a full year for putting something into his body he was not sure about.

    Does the AFL & players association have a policy which allows a player to reject treatment?

    Does this need to be read out by every doctor before every treatment so the players understand it is they who bare the consequences if they fail a test?

  25. Peewhit

    If you read the Oz constitution and what it says about the right of a tradesman to follow his trade, and what this means to the draft, you will understand why the AFL will do everything to stay out of the courts. While they can bluff they will, but they will not be seen in court over James Hird or any of the plasyers.

  26. Token

    …the Greek name reminds me a lot of Arthur T George and how good was he for soccer…

    A great comparison

  27. Brett

    What if we respect the rule of law and due process, but we have a degree of suspicion for people who make hay out of bad law, especially IR law and law with a Nanny State or Big Government or left/progressive agenda?

    Well for starters, maybe you don’t tar the whole legal profession with your ‘suspicion’. Every profession has its chancers (economists as well I dare say), but not all lawyers are as you suspect.

  28. Sinclair Davidson

    Economists are chancers? Never. :)

  29. Brett

    Why are lawyers so thin skinned? Spend a year telling people you are a Collingwood or Manly supporter and then we can talk about “vilification”.

    I am a barrister and and a Manly supporter; Manly supporter for longer as it happens.

    I am not thin-skinned about this type of thing; I have been threatened and insulted by the best of them. But just occasionally the hypocritical pitchforkers become too much.

  30. Tintarella di Luna

    not all lawyers are as you suspect.

    Correct, but some are exactly as you suspect, and a lot of those are occupying the green seats in our parliament

  31. Rafe

    Bash haymakers while the sun shines :)

    but not all lawyers are as you suspect.

    What are you suggesting that I suspect all layers of being? Given I know a fair number of lawyers and I respect most of them (not the one who is in gaol on tax and fraud offences).

    He was a Manly supporter too.

  32. Rafe

    Getting back on topic (sorry) with Sinc’s final suggestion.

    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.

    Presumably this means that we should be very parsimonious about creating new crimes (like being a bikie) and likewise using “hatespeech” giving offence, and a whole raft of things that are policed by human rights, anti-discrim, ethnic affairs bodies etc. A nice example is about to blow up courtesy of the usual suspects and the Fair Work Act.

  33. Carpe Jugulum

    I am a barrister and and a Manly supporter

    Great, you got a twofer.

    I am not thin-skinned about this type of thing

    Actually, yes you are being thin skinned. You are acting more prissy than rudd on a bad selfie day.

  34. Rabz

    The simple reason that none of this has found its way into the Courts is because the AFL cannot afford for that to happen; none of this would stand up to any form of scrutiny by reference to legal standards of proof and the laws of evidence. Hird will get his settlement because the AFL cannot afford to deny it to him; if he holds the line, they will cave. None of it will ever see the inside of a Court because to allow it to do so would expose the whole putrid put up job.

    I seem to remember commenting here, exactly along the lines above, several weeks ago.

    When Hird appointed one of the top solicitors in the country to represent him.

    Yet that fat greek bastard is still there, desperately hanging on – however, his days are numbered.

    Here’s hoping the ALPFL does something so stupid it almost defies description and appoints Eddie the Imbecile to succeed him when the fat greek bastard develops a mysterious illness (most probably (sh)amnesia) or decides he needs to spend more time witha da familia – presumably in a jurisdiction without an extradition treaty.

    BTW, where’s mUttley?

  35. Rabz

    Every profession has its chancers (economists as well I dare say)

    Withdraw that foul slur, Good Sir!

    :x

  36. Carpe Jugulum

    develops a mysterious illness desire to spend more time with his family.

    It’s the lefts meme du jour.

  37. Rabz

    Carpes – I noted that as the other possibility.

  38. steve

    You cannot constantly vilify lawyers and then scream for their intervention and protection when it it suddenly suits.

    Brett, if there is no justice, I will attack the law, the lawyers, the AFL and any other bastard that unfairly agrees with the punishments that were handed down on my football team which was found guilty without a trial.

    As for being thin skinned, if you have followed the commentary on this subject here, the attacks are not aimed at lawyers, they are aimed at the AFL and the fat, hairy Greek as well as the media. Those of us that are aware of the injustice in all this actually want this to go to court so that people like you can point out how the law is supposed to work. Capice!

  39. rafiki

    Hi Steve. I have just checked in. I thought that you and I had pretty much covered the issue of Demetriou’s role, and I must say I enjoyed our interchange (and that is not meant in a condescending way).
    I am strongly in sympathy with the thrust of Sinclair’s post. Once the government starts to regulate some activity – here the use of drugs by footballers etc – it is soon tempted to overreach in ways that trample on basic legal protections. In this case there are at least two examples.
    One is the creation of an offence of strict liability with very limited defences. Such offences violate the basic principle that a person should not be punished unless the prosecution proves that the accused intended to perform the acts that constitute the physical elements of the offence – here, the ingestion of banned drugs. In most instances in Australia, the punishment for such an offence is only a relatively small fine. Here, the potential punishment of the offender is much more drastic; viz., loss of livelihood. Moreover, in this case, the defences are much more limited than those available under the Commonwealth Criminal Code (for example).
    Two, the cost of investigation often leads government to empower the regulators to compel the production of information even if this would require a person to self-incriminate. Failure to do so is in this case punishable by a fine of $5100 per day.
    So, yes, there are objections in terms of basic legal rights to regulation. As well as to the economic ones of course.
    Sinclair: your point that so far as concerns regulating private relations the state should only enforce contracts raises a much more complex issue. And how does that work here? Maybe the EFC and other AFL clubs have entered into a contract whereby they accept the ASADA regime?

  40. Sinclair Davidson

    Maybe the EFC and other AFL clubs have entered into a contract whereby they accept the ASADA regime?

    If they had then no problem – but then this would be a contract dispute.

  41. Carpe Jugulum

    Carpes – I noted that as the other possibility.

    Rabz – it was too delicious a theme to pass up ;)

  42. Talleyrand

    How many of these Tribunals, Commissions etc work with no genuine separation of investigative, prosecutorial, and judicial functions. Yet when someone from the conservative side of politics critisises a decision or process, it is all “Separation of Powers, independence of the Judiciary/Commission, trying to take over the courts etc”

    Such bodies betray basic natural justice principles and also sensible processes of independent review.
    Of course when Tony The Fat and other administrators lined up like the good little Komosol squealers they are, we end up with with this sort of perpetual investigation and associated vague “evidence”.

    Let’s go back to trial by ordeal it could hardly be any less competent.

  43. steve

    Rifiki, I thought we had finished too, but Sinc keeps stirring the pot and I cannot resist.

    As you can probably tell by my posts, I am no legal expert. However, I have strong opinions on the average citizens right to justice and what I am learning is that the average citizen is not entitled to justice. That saddens me.

    On your post above, this sentence strikes a chord with me.

    Such offences violate the basic principle that a person should not be punished unless the prosecution proves that the accused intended to perform the acts that constitute the physical elements of the offence – here, the ingestion of banned drugs.

    The Essendon players have, as far as I can tell, not been accused of deliberately taking illegal drugs. Their crime, if it can be proven, seems to be that they were injected by people unknown with substances unknown. As well as the distaste I have for the whole AFL process and your prodigal son, what really burns me is that ASADA/WADA do not seem to have anything in their system that refers to your statement. In other words the victims can be punished without actually doing anything wrong themselves, they can be punished for the actions of others, the ones that injected them. Twist it any way you like, but that is plain wrong.

    I am of course, assuming that ASADA will one day produce evidence that will stand up in court.

    I also enjoyed our interchange, happy holidays as the yanks would say.

  44. Megan

    I detest being classified as “you people”. My husband and MIL both used it liberally to describe anyone not of Italian birth. The MIL has now gone to her eternal reward and the Sicilian Prince has learned to his detriment that it is not wise to use pejorative terms that imply inferiority in front of me.

    Wanting to point out that Cat commenters are hypocrites because they disrespectfully lump all lawyers together and then lumping all Cat commenters together as “You People” takes a special kind of self-delusion.

  45. blogstrop

    Not so much trolling here. They think it’s a sports thread.

  46. Talleyrand

    OK Komsomol, and Andrew the Fat, – on my 3rd martini here..

  47. johanna

    To widen out the discussion a little, people often call for “Royal Commissions” and similar high-powered inquiries when something looks dodgy. This is all very fine in theory, but he reality is a bit different.

    A friend got caught up in one of these behemoths. First, she discovered that every big law firm in Australia had already been engaged by other parties, so could not act for her. Then she found out that her own letters, memoranda and file notes were not available to her (because she had resigned for unrelated reasons), but would be available to her inquisitors.

    Being innocent, she eventually got out of the process with no marks, except for many sleepless nights and hefty legal bills.

  48. Carpe Jugulum

    To widen out the discussion a little, people often call for “Royal Commissions” and similar high-powered inquiries when something looks dodgy

    Johanna – i wouldn’t go that far but i would expect the main protagonists in this debacle to stump up their evidence and have it scrutinised and contested. Vague admissions, assertions and anecdotal evidence cannot bear scrutiny.

    The AFL, ASADA and WADA have made a rod for their own back by purporting as fact what is little more than leading questions, unqualified answers and vague statements they have stated that person(s) have done wrong so it is up to them to prove their case in a forum that can be contested. If fat andy is so sure of himself then let him contest it with lawyers at 50 paces.

    If anyone has a problem with taking the p1ss out of lawyers then also have a cry about taking the p1ss out of politicians, real estate agents and used car salesmen, it’s a national sport.

    Why James Hird didn’t pursue with lawfare is beyond me.

  49. rafiki

    Steve – as to whether any of the Dons will be successfully prosecuted, did you see this
    http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/asada-has-its-work-cut-out-for-it-in-proving-a-case-against-essendon-players-20131220-2zqr9.html
    Note, my friend, that this appeared in the Fairfax press!

    The strict liability nature of these drug ‘offences’ is particularly objectionable. There are thousands of them scattered throughout hundreds of ‘regulatory’ statutes in the Australian jurisdictions; for example, a statute that makes it an offence to sell adulterated milk. For my sins, I have to read a lot of these statutes, and it is rare to find an offence with such a draconic penalty. This is usually not a very large fine; the business selling the milk does not go out of business.

    I may in one respect be wrong about the loss of the self-incrimination privilege. It may only be displaced so far as concerns a failure to produce documents.

    Sinclair: the question of interest is – how come what the EFC does or does not do concerning its players is subject to ASADA? Maybe it’s because the 2006 ASADA Act applies by its own force. I have had a quick look at it, and I’m not sure.
    Maybe it’s because EFC agreed to be bound by the drug regime and ASADA powers etc when it agreed to the terms on which it joined the AFL competition. That is, EFC agreed with others that should certain events occur, EFC would accept that a third party (including a body exercising powers conferred by statute) could investigate and impose penalties on EFC.
    Maybe someone who reads this blog might know the answer.

  50. Yohan

    Spot on Yohan. The ‘right thinking’ journalists fell for it hook, line and sinker as did the heads of the major sporting codes who brought their sport into disrepute around the world by assisting the Gillard government in this farce.

    Fat Andy I’m looking at you.

    The sport chiefs were suckered into this no doubt (they actually trusted the government), but the most bizarre part has been Demetriou. He obviously has a need to always be right. Instead of letting the whole issue quietly drop, he just kept doubling down to justify his earlier wrong actions. (such as pursuing Hird over the pay issue).

  51. Gerry

    Prof Davidson …your interests on Facebook include Essendon FC Breaking News – sponsored by the club it seems. Do you have a bias on this subject that you haven’t declared or did I miss something ?

  52. steve

    From the Australian

    Watson, the only Essendon player to publicly admit to receiving injections of the contentious peptide AOD9604, told ASADA investigators that Dank explained to him there was “good” thymosin and “bad” thymosin.

    He said that Dank injected him with “good” thymosin, which he had understood to be Thymomodulin.

    The “bad” thymosin beta 4 is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

    In further evidence to ASADA, Watson described the bottle from which Dank administered his injection. His description is understood to match a bottle of Thymomodulin stored in Dank’s fridge at Essendon and photographed by assistant coach Dean Wallis.

    Neither Watson’s evidence about the bottle nor the photograph were included in the 400-page interim report, which also does not mention an electronic spreadsheet obtained by Essendon officials from Dank’s computer showing a schedule of Thymomodulin injections given to Essendon players.

    Thymomodulin is an immunity booster that can be safely given to babies and is legal for athletes to use. Both thymosin beta 4 and Thymomodulin are peptides extracted from the thymus gland of cows.

    ASADA have acted to produce a pre-ordained result, as have the AFL, forced into this position by the ALP. So far, only the ALP has got it’s comeuppance by losing government.

  53. Rafe

    steve, that was my point from the beginning, they need to be crystal clear about the actual substances used. And the players need appropriate legal and technical advice so they don’t get intimidated and confused and give potentially incriminate themselves out of sheer confusion. Especially when the Cronulla guys could get a “soft” ride by rolling over, on advice from their Board with one of the members a sister in the Brereton ALP clan.

  54. rafiki

    One of the reasons “they” (is this ASADA, of the EFC?) can’t be crystal clear about what drugs were used is down to the appalling lack of supervision and record keeping in relation to what Dank or whomsoever administered to the players. Did not Ziggy make this point? And where was the technical and advice from the EFC to Jobe Watson before he made his public statements? Why did he feel that he had to go out on his own?
    I hope the sports law expert whose Age/SMH piece I linked to above is right when he thinks the players may not be prosecuted. It’s these poor buggers who have suffered the most (and most of all Watson, whose Brownlow win is now forever tainted). No sojourns in France for them.
    I have no brief for ASADA, and I don’t like the state regulating what is essentially private behaviour. But the EFC administration, and St James in particular, have a lot to answer for too.

  55. steve

    I hear you, Rafiki, but I am not sure that you are correct in thinking that Watson is naive. Here is my take. There was already a lot of media flak in the public domain from Smith and his ugly step-sister, so Watson would not have come out without Essendon knowing about it. They were afraid of being burned. He would not even have volunteered to go on the Couch except to get information out there. I have even heard that he told Healy that he was going to make an admission when they were in the Green Room together (I don’t know how reliable that is).
    Essendon believed at the time that, although publicly the AS9604 was in dispute, they had been given permission by ASADA to use it as they asked about all the substances before administration of the peptides. So they authorised Watson to go on camera and admit to something that they believed they had been given permission to use. No harm could be done (haha).
    At least, that is my theory on the Watson issue.
    As well as that, read the article in the Australian by Homer, Watson had already made the admissions that he made on the couch to ASADA, but ASADA chose to ignore it in their report because it suited their predisposed position. Remember ASADA are not in the business of trying to clear people.
    I have never argued that there was not poor governance at Essendon, but I do argue these points
    1 The penalty for bad governance was exorbitant
    2 They were found guilty of a catch all offence because ASADA had no evidence of specifics (positive tests)
    3 The process was corrupt and so any findings should be thrown out
    4 They were convicted by a media that had a conflict of interest in its reporting (they needed to keep the AFL happy)
    5 There was never any chance to defend themselves (I am sure there is a legal term for what I call “railroading”)
    6 The fat, hairy Greek had a massive conflict of interest in that he was judge, jury and executioner as well as chief source to his gossiping minions.

    ALL PENALTIES SHOULD BE WITHDRAWN

  56. Leigh Lowe

    Who really cares what was in the drugs? It is just so blatantly true that all the Essendon players, who willingly were injected with drugs they knew not what, are fucking morons.

    Bull.Shit.
    100′s of players are injected with legal pain-killers every week by doctors they trust. And you expect them to name the precise chemical compound of the anaesthetic?
    Dickhead.

  57. Leigh Lowe

    Steve – as to whether any of the Dons will be successfully prosecuted, did you see this
    http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/asada-has-its-work-cut-out-for-it-in-proving-a-case-against-essendon-players-20131220-2zqr9.html
    Note, my friend, that this appeared in the Fairfax press!

    A bit disingenuous Rafiki.
    It was an op-ed piece by a sports lawyer.
    The general push by the Age staffers has been that of judge-jury-executioner all along, led by the chief gossip columnist, Carolyn Wilson.
    Interesting that she follows this matter assiduously when being fed shit out of AFL House, but her investigative instincts suddenly go cold when faced with mounting evidence that, well, ASADA has no evidence.
    This op-ed piece is merely a face-saver by the Age without any of the erstwhile wolfpack (ie Wilson) having to do a backflip.

  58. Peter56

    Leigh Lowe,
    I don’t expect anybody to be able to name what is exactly in injections or pills they take.
    I guess it is the same when they inject painkillers, because not even the doctors would know the precise cocktail of what goes into the drugs. But it seems you are just being as obtuse and stupid as Numbers.
    And for mine, painkillers should not be taken either. If they are not the most performance enhancing of drugs, I don’t know what is. If you cannot get back out on the field without a painkiller, then it is a performance enhancer.
    These morons were injected with drugs that not even those giving them knew what was in them, or what they would actually do.
    Well done Zaharakis, for having a brain and the courage to say no.

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