The drug that wiped out the Essendon 34 was only listed as banned by ASADA the day before the club “self-reported” its supplements program in February 2013.
It was several months after the injections had stopped.
Most of the 2012 Bombers’ squad were banned after the Court of Arbitration for Sport concluded they were repeatedly injected with the WADA “prohibited” substance Thymosin Beta-4.
But an official log reveals the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority “Check Your Substances” site — which athletes and coaches are encouraged to inspect prior to using supplements — did not flag the drug as banned until the afternoon of February 4, 2013.
As I’ve been arguing all along – this is dodgy.
Here is a post from April 2016 that is well worth republishing.
Recall that Senator John Madigan asked the question:
Can ASADA please supply documentation that clearly shows Essendon players had clear and unambiguous access to the WADA banned substances list at the time the alleged offences took place that showed the substance Thymosin beta-4 was on the WADA banned list.
ASADA have answered the question:
The World Anti-Doping Code mandates that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) publish an annual list of Prohibited Substances and Methods. This is known as the ‘Prohibited List’. The Prohibited List has been published by WADA since 2004.
The current Prohibited List is published on WADA’s website at www.wadaama.org/en/resources/science-medicine/prohibited-list. Archived versions of the Prohibited List for each year since 2004 are accessible via the same link.
In addition to internet publication, WADA also makes the Prohibited List available for mobile devices with free applications available for download. The Australian Sports
Anti-Doping Authority website also contains an information page about the Prohibited List with a link to the Prohibited List at www.asada.gov.au/substances/prohibited-substances-and-methods.
As I always say – when dealing with the government always check things yourself.
So I went to the WADA page …
… and I tried to download the latest Prohibited List file. Unfortunately the document would not download (I have the screen shot). Okay – so I’m not an athlete, so it doesn’t matter too much. I was able to download the 2015 Prohibited List, then I searched for Thymosin Beta 4.
Okay – let’s give ASADA a chance here – after all maybe there is a variant spelling or something. So I searched for just Thymosin.
Well … I’m not going to labour the point. I have the screen shot if anyone really wants to see it.
Now that is a tad embarrassing for ASADA having replied to a direct question, ” that showed the substance Thymosin beta-4 was on the WADA banned list” with a complete non-answer. In fact, as best I can tell the “answer” provided by ASADA is entirely false. As a final check I entered “Thymosin Beta 4” into the ASADA search function and found a single reference – to a press conference. I have that screen shot too. There is more on the WADA website than ASADA.
Recall also that McDevitt told the Senate:
They should have gone to the website where you can look up the substances that are banned but we have no evidence that any of them did. They did not make the inquiries.
Well I have gone to the website – that ASADA nominated to contain the information and I could not find Thymosin Beta 4 on any list. Mind you given that the players had been told they were receiving Thymosin and not Thymosin Beta 4 it isn’t clear to me why they would search for it, but Thymosin isn’t there either.
Now I’m sure there is an innocent explanation for this but perhaps it would be helpful if ASADA could enlighten us as to what that explanation might be.
As it turns out, we now discover:
Thymosin Beta-4 was not explicitly listed as a banned substance by WADA until January 2018.
So what ASADA told the Senate was factually incorrect.