JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

ASADA must act to restore public trust in sport

Date

Adrian Anderson

Adrian Anderson with Andrew Demetriou when he was AFL football operations manager.

Adrian Anderson with Andrew Demetriou when he was AFL football operations manager.

Australian sport is facing one of its most public and damaging scandals. How Aurora Andruska, the chief executive of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, and her boss, the Federal Sports Minister, now handle the Essendon and Cronulla investigations will set the scene for the integrity of sport here for years to come.

After months of speculation, innuendo and leaks, ASADA has compiled an interim report that has not been released to the public and apparently recommends nothing. Confusion reigns. The Sports Minister, Don Farrell, has the power under the ASADA Act to request relevant information from ASADA and make it public. He and ASADA have said little and now owe the sporting public some answers.

The first is why ASADA issued an interim report without having spoken to the key witness, Stephen Dank, who is central to the investigations and has said publicly he kept lists of which drugs were given to which players. Farrell and ASADA have trumpeted new coercive powers they have had since August 1 to compel Dank and any other witnesses to testify, but apparently haven't used them.

They have also failed to explain why no charges are recommended when there is evidence, including an admission from Essendon captain Jobe Watson that he believed he was given AOD-9604 - a drug banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. It can't be because there has not been a positive test. ASADA is as aware as anyone that the days of relying solely on positive tests are long gone and the ability to use other evidence is now the key. Lance Armstrong is a classic example.

ASADA may well be embarrassed by ambiguous advice given to the Australian Crime Commission about the status of AOD-9604, but embarrassment is also no good reason to avoid laying charges.

The players may well be undeserving of punishment, but this is relevant to determining what penalty should apply, not whether a charge should be laid. It also doesn't explain why those responsible for administering banned drugs to players are not facing charges.

If the answer is that this is only an interim report, why issue an interim report at all? Shouldn't the issue of any charges under the anti-doping code be resolved before any related disciplinary proceedings? The thoroughness of an investigation is measured not by how many witnesses you have spoken to but the extent you have pursued every avenue to get to the bottom of what happened.

The Commonwealth Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus, acknowledged the public interest in this matter and stated that a version of the ASADA interim report would be made public. That was more than a week ago.

In the absence of sensible commentary from ASADA or the Sports Minister, the space has been filled with more rumour, speculation and leaks.

It has been said that this whole malaise is not what sport is all about. It should be about fun, kids and setting a good example. And that's exactly why it is crucial that ASADA punishes any wrongdoers and restores public confidence that the integrity of sport will be protected.

Adrian Anderson was AFL general manager of football operations from 2004-2012, which included oversight of the integrity of the game and its drug policies. He is a former partner of Corrs Chambers Westgarth lawyers and now works as a consultant.

61 comments

  • Yes, Adrian Anderson is right. ASADA must do something to remove the impression that footballers have different rules from others.

    For some strange reason footballers are treated differently from , say, track and field athletes. Athletes are personally responsible for anything they take. Any hint of banned drug use, and they're out.

    Treat the footballers the same.

    Please.

    Commenter
    HiLo
    Date and time
    August 11, 2013, 12:14PM
    • why afl player are treated differently from track and field athletes and swimmers is because the afl does not spend that much money on drug testing of its players, 1100 tests a year on 800 players where a track and field can get tested 11 times out of competition oh and you don't here track an field whining about 6am testing even if they have young kids and that is they say why they get treated differently

      Commenter
      nikraf
      Date and time
      August 11, 2013, 1:00PM
    • The Rules say they should be banned and that it's fully the players responsibility, but what will happen, a fine, loss of points, no bans and the brownlow won't be stripped from Watson.

      100% fault lays with the players, it's not like they injected them without their knowledge, they where willing to be injected and its the bombers players fault for not checking what was being put in their bodies.

      20 months for missing a few tests, get tough with the AFL and NRL if you don't we as a Sporting nation will be a joke.

      Commenter
      Dave
      Date and time
      August 11, 2013, 3:36PM
    • All professional sportsmen must be aware of what is being put into their bodies at all times. The old " I trusted the doc" line will not and should not be allowed to stand here, if it was a sportsman of any other sport they would be a goner.

      Commenter
      Roj
      Date and time
      August 11, 2013, 7:24PM
  • I feel sure that the AFL will not wait until Essendon possibly hold up the Premiership Flag just as much as I feel sure that Essendon must be made to never think that this course may be contrived again.
    WADA is the elephant in the room with Australian Sport in the spotlight.
    By the same token I understand what else(investigation wise) would be in ASADA's report

    Commenter
    peter
    Location
    daintree
    Date and time
    August 11, 2013, 12:24PM
    • This is the most sense I've ever heard Adrian make-must have something to do with getting away from the AFL and it's 'party line'

      Commenter
      Wal
      Date and time
      August 11, 2013, 12:25PM
      • The issue depends on what penalty Essendon are willing to accept &/or how far the AFL want to drag this to the courts.

        Commenter
        Christos
        Date and time
        August 11, 2013, 12:37PM
        • Essendon would be crazy to challenge (not that that'll stop them) any decision that could drag into 2014. Better to accept punishment now, in a year that they're not going to win the flag, and come out next year when their premiership window is open.

          Commenter
          Adam
          Date and time
          August 11, 2013, 5:07PM
        • Adam but what if players are banned? They will fight anything and everything to save that club, because they should have players banned but that's not what's going to happen because the AFL will slap them with weak punishment.

          Commenter
          Dee
          Date and time
          August 11, 2013, 7:06PM
        • @Dee, you're right about the players, but I don't think the players will be banned by an AFL "Game into disrepute" charge. I think it'll be the later ASADA investigation that'll hurt the players. I think the disrepute charge should land totally in the lap of the administration/coaching staff.

          Commenter
          Adam
          Date and time
          August 11, 2013, 8:13PM

      More comments

      Comments are now closed

      Related Coverage

      AFL 2015

      Round 1
      Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
      CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
      Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
      MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
      SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
      BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
      WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
      Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
      STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
      ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
      FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
      Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
      HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 2
      Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
      WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
      Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
      RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
      GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
      COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
      GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
      PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
      Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
      GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
      ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
      NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 3
      Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
      COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
      Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
      CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
      ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
      SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
      NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
      BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
      Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
      HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
      GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
      WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 4
      Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
      RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
      Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
      STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
      ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
      GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
      PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
      FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
      Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
      BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
      GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
      WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 5
      Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
      CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
      Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
      RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
      SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
      GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
      NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
      WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
      Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
      MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
      STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
      ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 6
      Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
      COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
      Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
      NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
      WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
      GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
      GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
      MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
      FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
      Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
      CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
      PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 7
      Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
      ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
      Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
      ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
      HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
      CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
      SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
      WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
      Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
      WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
      RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
      BRI 102vs PTA 65 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 8
      Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
      GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
      Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
      STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
      GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
      GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
      HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
      FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
      Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
      ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
      MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
      PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 9
      Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
      SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
      Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
      HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
      MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
      WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
      RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
      ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
      Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
      BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
      COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
      WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 10
      Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
      FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
      Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
      GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
      ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
      PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
      Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
      GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
      NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
      STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
      Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
      MEL 85vs COL 110 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 11
      Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
      PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
      Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
      GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
      WCE 96vs ESS 46 Report Stats
      NTH 75vs SYD 91 Report Report Stats
      Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
      COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
      STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 12
      Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
      ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
      Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
      RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
      Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
      GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
      WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
      Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
      GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 13
      Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
      FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
      Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
      SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
      Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
      HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
      BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
      STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
      Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 14
      Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
      SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
      Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
      COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
      Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
      RIC 78vs GWS 69 Report Stats
      GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
      WBU 64vs CAR 53 Report Stats
      MEL 60vs WCE 114 Report Stats
      Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
      ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
      ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
      FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 15
      Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
      PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
      Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
      RIC 71vs CAR 41 Report Stats
      Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
      ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
      WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
      NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
      WCE 147vs ADE 91 Report Stats
      Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
      GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
      HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
      BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 16
      Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
      NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
      Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
      GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
      GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
      COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
      SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
      FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
      Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
      MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
      PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
      STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 17
      Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
      CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
      Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
      GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
      ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
      RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
      ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
      BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
      Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
      WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
      MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
      WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 18
      Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
      HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
      Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
      GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
      COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
      SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
      CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
      GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
      Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
      PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
      ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
      FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 19
      Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
      ADE 88vs RIC 52 Report Stats
      Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
      COL 105vs CAR 87 Report Stats
      WBU 128vs PTA 64 Report Stats
      BRI 100vs GCF 114 Report Stats
      GEE 95vs SYD 63 Report Stats
      WCE 74vs HAW 88 Report Stats
      Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
      MEL 92vs NTH 127 Report Stats
      GWS 93vs ESS 61 Report Stats
      STK 59vs FRE 96 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 20
      Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
      SYD 87vs COL 76 Report Stats
      Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
      ESS 59vs ADE 171 Report Stats
      NTH 120vs STK 83 Report Stats
      PTA 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
      GEE 85vs HAW 121 Report Stats
      BRI 131vs CAR 67 Report Stats
      Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
      RIC 138vs GCF 55 Report Stats
      WBU 153vs MEL 55 Report Stats
      FRE 80vs WCE 104 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 21
      Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
      HAW 86vs PTA 108 Report Stats
      Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
      COL 56vs RIC 147 Report Stats
      GWS 44vs SYD 133 Report Stats
      GCF 97vs ESS 95 Report Stats
      STK 97vs GEE 97 Report Stats
      ADE 131vs BRI 44 Report Stats
      Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
      NTH 94vs FRE 83 Report Stats
      CAR 78vs MEL 55 Report Stats
      WCE 162vs WBU 85 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 22
      Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
      GEE 62vs COL 110 Report Stats
      Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
      GWS ($1.22)vs CAR ($4.50) 13:45Spotless Stadium
      HAW ($1.01)vs BRI ($17.00) 14:10AS
      NTH ($1.67)vs WBU ($2.25) 16:35ES
      ESS ($6.75)vs RIC ($1.12) 19:20MCG
      GCF ($3.30)vs PTA ($1.35) 19:20MS
      Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
      ADE ($2.05)vs WCE ($1.80) 13:10Adelaide Oval
      STK ($4.50)vs SYD ($1.22) 15:20ES
      FRE ($1.08)vs MEL ($8.50) 16:40Domain Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      Round 23
      Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
      RIC vs NTH 19:50ES
      Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
      GEE ($2.00)vs ADE ($1.75) 13:05SS
      BRI ($3.50)vs WBU ($1.28) 13:45G
      PTA ($1.75)vs FRE ($2.00) 15:50Adelaide Oval
      HAW ($1.01)vs CAR ($15.00) 16:40MCG
      SYD ($1.02)vs GCF ($12.00) 19:20SCG
      WCE ($1.11)vs STK ($6.25) 19:40Domain Stadium
      Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
      MEL vs GWS 13:10ES
      COL vs ESS 15:20MCG
      View All Fixtures
      AFL 2015
      Overall standings
      Team P W L D % Pts
      Fremantle 20 16 4 0 122.19 64
      West Coast Eagles 20 15 4 1 150.85 62
      Hawthorn 20 14 6 0 154.20 56
      Sydney Swans 20 14 6 0 118.16 56
      Richmond 20 13 7 0 120.22 52
      Western Bulldogs 20 13 7 0 116.09 52
      North Melbourne 20 13 7 0 110.91 52
      Adelaide Crows 19 12 7 0 116.41 50
      View all
       

      Follow Us on Facebook

      Featured advertisers