The compounding pharmacist believed to have produced peptides injected into Essendon players in 2012 suspects Stephen Dank forged his signature on documents stating that the substance used was World Anti-Doping Authority compliant.
Pharmacist Nima Alavi says he still doesn't know whether the players were injected with the banned substance Thymosin beta 4, or the less powerful non-synthetic version of the drug Thymomodulin.
He told the ABC's 7.30 program on Wednesday that he was asked by Dank to produce a substance that contained what biochemist Shane Charter described as Thymosin, but was forced to hand over the mixture to Dank without being sure of what it contained.
The pharmacy where Nima Alavi works, in South Yarra. Photo: Angela Wylie
"We don't make the actual Thymosin itself. We receive that, we dissolve it, then it goes into a sterile lab," Alavi said on the program.
Having placed the completed products into unlabelled vials, Alavi outlined how Dank urged him to relinquish the vials, which Dank indicated could be examined externally before being given to the Essendon players.
"Stephen Dank approached me, and said there's a local lab in Melbourne called Mimotopes and they can test it - they've got a method for it."
Sports scientist Stephen Dank. Photo: Getty Images
Alavi says he was told by Dank a fortnight later that Thymosin had not ultimately formed because the substance in the vials had come in contact with light.
Alavi claims however that he was nevertheless asked by Dank on multiple occasions to sign a letter stating he had made Thymomodulin - something he could not be sure of. He therefore refused Dank's request.
Alavi was subsequently surprised when the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority presented him with a document with his signature during the course of its 16-month investigation.
"Thymomodulin has been compounded and it is not banned by WADA. It had my name at the bottom and my signature," Alavi said.
Alavi said that there were several telltale signs indicating the letter was a forgery, including his purported title of managing director.
"I'm the proprietor, I wouldn't have put managing director," he said.
Alavi was joined on the program by anti-ageing clinic doctor Robin Willcourt, who also alleged Dank had forged documents with his name.
"I had some concerns about my signature being used on some blood tests that I hadn't requested myself," Willcourt said.
"I had some that didn't look like my signature at all and others were a clear photocopy."
Both Alavi and Willcourt raised their concerns with the Victorian Purana taskforce, which is investigating gang-related criminal activity.
Dank was questioned by Purana detectives over the alleged theft of peptides on Wednesday morning and later released.
He was issued with a show-cause notice in March this year, but is yet to comply with ASADA's requests to discuss what transpired at Essendon during the 2012 season. He told Fairfax Media last year the players were were injected with Thymosin Beta 4, only to later change his story and suggest they were injected with Thymomodulin.
Earlier this month, 34 current and former Bombers players were issued with show-cause notices by ASADA. They were granted an extension of their time to respond to July 11. They are also pressing for an injunction to halt the investigation subject to the outcome of Essendon and suspended coach James Hird's claim that ASADA acted outside its scope in conducting a dual investigation with the AFL. The directions hearing for the matter will be held in the Federal Court in Melbourne on Friday.
One of the lawyers representing Essendon, Josh Bornstein of Maurice Blackburn, stressed the importance of a fair process for the players involved.
"Due process, natural justice, the right to a fair hearing are fundamental principles of our legal landscape and indeed our entire landscape so Essendon players should be in no different position," Bornstein said on 7.30.