Accused ... Trent Croad. Photo: Lachlan Cunningham
FORMER Hawthorn and All Australian player Trent Croad was involved in discussions about a peptide supply deal linked to an outlaw bikie gang, in the latest revelation to emerge in the sport supplement scandal.
Sources in the sports science and supplement industry confirmed that Croad's activities have been scrutinised by the Australian Crime Commission, along with that of several supplement industry figures, as part of its year-long probe into drugs and organised crime in sport.
The sources said the former Hawthorn premiership player had confided to friends that late last year he had met with figures associated with the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang. The meeting was at the Olsen Hotel in Melbourne and in connection to a deal involving the sale by Croad of a large amount of peptides to be sourced from Sydney.
AFL sources also said that Croad had approached at least two clubs with offers to supply them with supplements. Business documents show that in September last year, Croad started a company Pharma Ventures.
At the time of the Olsen Hotel meeting, peptides were unregulated and it was not illegal to sell them. It is understood that Croad had expressed surprise that the Comanchero attended the meeting.
Croad could not be contacted last night and it is unclear if he followed through on his peptide deal. Croad worked in a senior role at the Epigenx medical practice in Toorak until late last year, when he unexpectedly severed ties with the clinic.
The clinic's founder is a respected doctor, Robin Willcourt, who last season worked with the Essendon Football Club's sports scientist Stephen Dank to examine blood samples from the team's players.
On Monday, Dr Willcourt stressed that his clinic had no role in supplying any pharmaceuticals or sporting supplements, and that if his patients wanted such supplements, they needed to take their prescription to a pharmacist. He declined to talk about Croad's conduct or why Croad left Epigenx, stating that: ''Mr Croad's activities are a matter for him.''
Fairfax Media can also reveal that a Melbourne pharmacist, Nima Alavi, supplied supplements to several of the sporting codes now under scrutiny.
A leaked invoice, dated January 31, shows Alavi had previously supplied supplements to Dank while he was heading Essendon's sports science department. The invoice does not show what product was supplied.
As a compound pharmacist, Alavi's job involves mixing medicines for patients who have a prescription from their doctor. It is not improper to sell peptides, but their use by professional athletes may breach anti-doping regulations.
Last week, Alavi told website Crikey that Dank had visited his pharmacy 12 months ago and was ''coming in and proposing all sorts of crazy things'' but that his business was not involved in any impropriety.
On Monday, Alavi's website was listing as ''coming soon'' the hormone peptide GHRP-6, which is at the centre of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's investigation that has been triggered by the ACC inquiry.
Fairfax Media is not suggesting that any of the activities of Alavi, a former director of Epigenx, have been improper. One of his employees said he was not at work on Monday.
Last week, the federal government moved to introduce new laws to ban the sale of peptides without a prescription.
On the ABC's 7.30 program last night, Dank said he had engaged in no wrongdoing.