AFL, ASADA “Constructed” Supplements Saga Story: Stephen Dank

Federal Court Ruling on Essendon's Case Against ASADA

The man behind Essendon’s ongoing supplements saga, Stephen Dank, claims evidence of doping by the football club has been fabricated as part of a “constructed” narrative from the AFL and ASADA.

Dank was a sport scientist with the Bombers in 2012 during a period in which the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority claims Essendon administered illegal supplements to its players. According to Dank, the long-running investigation, now facing an AFL anti-doping tribunal, is a set up.

“Don’t be fooled into thinking that this story started on the 5th of February, 2013,” Dank said of the day Essendon came public with its alleged doping program while speaking to the ABC’s PM program on Thursday night.

“They tried to sit down and construct a story so they could have an ending that would suit their means, obviously try and incriminate me to all ends of the Earth and at the same time try and construct an ending which would allow the players to walk.

“I’ve got no problems with the players being allowed to walk because the players have done nothing wrong.

“But the thing that I’ve found that’s sometimes been comical, is the fact that we’re having a due process which has followed no process… and certainly we’ve had a process which has been devoid of anything that resembles proper judicial processes.”

Essendon players are still under the threat of ASADA bans and could miss AFL pre-season action if backdated suspensions are handed out.

“I laugh a little bit about some of the evidence that I’m being told is being presented at the moment at the AFL tribunal because it’s evidence which in no way, shape or form is real or has any basis and to be honest, in no way, shape or form has had any real meaning in relation to the true facts of the case as it happens,” Dank said of current legal proceedings.

“And yet these particular players have been subjected to this process.

“But of course the part that I don’t find comical is the fact that these 34 players have needed to be subjected to this.”

The Cronulla Sharks, another former Dank employer, saw players receive backdated suspensions for the final few games of the 2014 NRL season for their role in taking banned peptides during 2011.

Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images.