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.



Pies, the source?

Date

Jake Niall and John Silvester

Key witness says Stephen Dank used Collingwood claims to manipulate James Hird.

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Video will begin in 5 seconds.

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Essendon fires back at allegations

Essendon is considering legal action after a series of explosive allegations were levelled against coach James Hird.

PT0M0S 620 349

The sports scientist at the centre of the Essendon drug scandal, Stephen Dank, used an unfounded allegation about Collingwood using banned drugs to pressure coach James Hird to authorise the controversial peptide program, according to a key witness in the investigation.

Biochemist Shane Charter, who has spoken to ASADA several times, including in the past week, has explained that Dank asked him to verify that the Magpies had been using human growth hormone in order to persuade Hird to get the peptide program ''over the line''.

Charter, who sourced the peptides from China, said he flew to Queensland at Dank's request in December 2011 to help sell the program to Hird. He said he had never sold or supplied Collingwood with substances or had knowledge of its supplements program.

James Hird leaving his home on Thursday.

James Hird leaving his home on Thursday. Photo: Penny Stephens

''Dank had been telling Hird that Collingwood was on human growth hormone and that we had to get the peptide program over the line,'' Charter told Fairfax Media in a previous interview. It is understood he has given the same information to ASADA, which is set to hand down its report on Essendon in the coming days.

''He said to James when I was there, 'Shane will prove my point'. He was talking about HGH. He was saying that, 'Shane has his ear to the ground on who is using it'.

''I had no knowledge. I didn't sell, supply or know anything about the Collingwood program.''

Shane Charter.

Shane Charter. Photo: Wayne Taylor

Charter said Dank had ordered the peptides months earlier in 2011 and was ''determined to make sure the program went ahead''.

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire, who is travelling in the US with AFL chief executive

Andrew Demetriou as part of an AFL delegation, used his Triple M radio program on Thursday morning to say that Hird had been in contact with him and the Essendon coach had denied he ever suggested to former Essendon conditioning boss Dean Robinson that the Pies were taking HGH.

Stephen Dank.

Stephen Dank.

On Wednesday night, Robinson told Channel Seven that Hird had allegedly said of Collingwood: ''He [Hird] wanted me to bring bigger and stronger players to him. He felt they were being outmuscled, and he specifically noted a side that he really wanted to be.

''He wanted to go after Collingwood, and he wanted to be Collingwood. And he knew the stuff that Collingwood were doing.

''He said to me that he knew that they were taking supplements that were allowing them to get an advantage, because he knew who was supplying them.''

Collingwood said in a statement on Thursday that the suggestion its players had used undetectable, performance-enhancing drugs was ''totally false''.

Robinson's comments follow the reporting of text messages between Dank and Hird that have dragged the Magpies, Hawthorn and West Coast into the Essendon quagmire, with those clubs angrily denying the suggestion in Dank's texts that they were ''biologically advanced''.

Charter has told Fairfax Media he has co-operated fully with the ASADA investigation and answered questions about his relationships with Hird, Dank and the compound pharmacist Nima Alavi, who provided supplements to Dank.

Charter has handed over a series of text messages and emails to the investigation, including those that establish his commercial relationship with Dank.

Charter, a former bodybuilder, has also said he stopped providing Dank with peptides in April 2012 because Dank had missed payment deadlines.

Charter, who knows Hird from having provided him with what Essendon has called ''dietary advice'' in 2003 and 2004, also says he saw Hird tell Dank he wanted his club to remain within the rules.

Charter, who has been staunch in his defence of Hird, said the Essendon coach had laid down three conditions to any program: ''That there were no long-term dangers to players' health; that it was all WADA-compliant; and that everything had to be run past the club doctor. He was adamant.''

While Dank wouldn't be drawn on Robinson's television interview, he told Fairfax Media that  players from NRL and AFL  had nothing to fear as ASADA pushes towards a conclusion of its investigations.

''I don't want to comment on the interview with Dean Robinson, I'm happy for the dust to settle between him and Essendon over this,'' Dank said.

''There are obviously a number of issues there and I'll leave it to them to work it out. But I reaffirm my views that Essendon and Cronulla won't have any issues at all with ASADA or WADA. And I believe Hird should remain coach.''

54 comments

  • Big Brother or a football scandal ... I wonder which is of less interest?

    Cheating with chemicals or watching the antics of silly little people in some stupid house....

    Perhaps the AFL should scrap the game and just have a Big Brother styled competition. ... Call it "My Muscles Rule" .. Put all of the participants in a house and watch them get injected ..

    It's just as boing ..

    Commenter
    Sven
    Location
    Anti Football League
    Date and time
    August 02, 2013, 7:33AM
    • Great idea, Sven. Put all relevant parties in The Big Brother house and watch it unfold. Oh, and that sound effects guy from Funniest Home Videos should have free reign, not to mention the theme music to The Benny Hill Show should be playing along in the background. Best reality TV/comedy show ever!

      Commenter
      AJK73
      Date and time
      August 02, 2013, 9:00AM
    • I don't share your snippy views on football, Sven, but I most certainly understand your frustration in relation to the unending coverage of football scandal. Football has always been big in this town, and it will always be thus, but there was once a more restrained time in which football knew its place in the scheme of things. But then, when political reporting descends to a celebrity grudge match in which personality trumps substance, it isn't really surprising that football becomes a more elevated concern. These days, I try hard to defeat the feeling that I'd be better informed about the world by taking myself off to a cave, if only I knew I'd really be getting away from it all.

      Commenter
      Days to Come
      Location
      Here and There
      Date and time
      August 02, 2013, 9:32AM
  • I questioned Dean Robinson’s creditability when he made these comments about Collingwood.

    But now, Shane Charter (convict drug dealer and long-time Hird friend and supporter) is telling us that Steve Dank was the source of the rumour about Collingwood.

    So now we know;
    Dank tells (lies to) James Hird
    Hird tells Dean
    Dean tells us.

    In my mind, one of Dean Robinsons more outrages comments now seems very, very creditable and we can see why James Hird was so keen to have this program put in place

    Commenter
    When will it end
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    August 02, 2013, 7:40AM
    • Sorry - I just can't see any person who isn't a Pies fan saying 'we want to be Collingwood'.

      Commenter
      Rdefcon1
      Date and time
      August 02, 2013, 10:28AM
    • I kept getting this feeling, too. That is, someone was lying and it wasn't necessarily Robinson. While the truth of what Robinson was saying had actually happened might be questionable, that this was what he was told or that this was his understanding at the time seems more credible than I would have expected. I have the feeling Robinson isn't the one lying.

      Commenter
      lgrsydney
      Date and time
      August 02, 2013, 12:23PM
  • Typical try and drag everyone down with you, this is absolutely pathetic. Bambi Hird has forever tarnished his legacy

    Commenter
    Pieron
    Date and time
    August 02, 2013, 8:07AM
    • Um, did you even bother reading the article? It doesn't paint Hird in a bad light at all

      Commenter
      Mrjez
      Date and time
      August 02, 2013, 9:17AM
    • The article doesn't need to paint Hird in a bad he is doing that himself

      Commenter
      Pieron
      Date and time
      August 02, 2013, 10:37AM
    • You mean other than being negligently gullible and ultimately unprincipled, yeah Hird comes out looking amazing.

      Commenter
      Realist
      Date and time
      August 02, 2013, 10:56AM

More comments

Comments are now closed

Related Coverage

AFL 2015

Round 1
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78 vs RIC 105 19:20MCG
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL 115 vs GCF 89 13:40MCG
SYD 72 vs ESS 60 16:35ANZ
BRI 74 vs COL 86 19:20G
WBU 97 vs WCE 87 19:20ES
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 78 vs GWS 87 13:10ES
ADE 140 vs NTH 63 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE 75 vs PTA 68 18:40Domain Stadium
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 123 vs GEE 61 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE 131 vs CAR 62 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 66 vs WBU 85 13:45MCG
GWS 101 vs MEL 56 14:10SO
COL 63 vs ADE 90 16:35ES
GCF 76 vs STK 104 19:20MS
PTA 44 vs SYD 92 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
GEE 60 vs FRE 104 13:10SS
ESS 78 vs HAW 76 15:20MCG
NTH 133 vs BRI 51 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 140 vs STK 66 19:50MCG
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
CAR 84 vs ESS 105 13:45MCG
ADE 80 vs MEL 55 14:10Adelaide Oval
SYD 111 vs GWS 90 16:35SCG
NTH 105 vs PTA 113 19:20ES
BRI 58 vs RIC 137 19:20G
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW vs WBU 13:10AS
GEE vs GCF 15:20SS
WCE vs FRE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC vs MEL 19:50MCG
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STK vs CAR 11:10NZ
ESS vs COL 14:40MCG
GWS vs GCF 17:40SO
PTA vs HAW 19:40Adelaide Oval
FRE vs SYD 20:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs WCE 13:10G
GEE vs NTH 15:20SS
WBU vs ADE 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR vs COL 19:50MCG
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GEE 13:45MCG
SYD vs WBU 14:10SCG
GCF vs BRI 16:35MS
NTH vs HAW 19:20ES
WCE vs GWS 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL vs FRE 13:10MCG
STK vs ESS 15:20ES
ADE vs PTA 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
COL vs GEE 19:50MCG
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
NTH vs RIC 13:45BA
WBU vs STK 14:10ES
GWS vs HAW 16:35Spotless Stadium
GCF vs ADE 17:10MS
MEL vs SYD 19:20MCG
FRE vs ESS 20:10Domain Stadium
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR vs BRI 15:20ES
PTA vs WCE 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS vs NTH 19:50ES
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE vs STK 13:45Adelaide Oval
HAW vs MEL 14:10MCG
CAR vs GWS 16:35ES
SYD vs GEE 19:20ANZ
WCE vs GCF 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
WBU vs FRE 13:10ES
RIC vs COL 15:20MCG
BRI vs PTA 16:40G
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
GEE vs CAR 19:50ES
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
STK vs WCE 13:45ES
GWS vs ADE 14:10Spotless Stadium
GCF vs COL 16:35MS
HAW vs SYD 19:20MCG
FRE vs NTH 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS vs BRI 13:10ES
MEL vs WBU 15:20MCG
PTA vs RIC 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CAR 19:50SCG
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW vs GCF 13:45AS
MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
WBU vs GWS 16:35ES
RIC vs ESS 19:20MCG
ADE vs FRE 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STK 13:10G
COL vs NTH 15:20MCG
WCE vs GEE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs ADE 13:40MCG
GCF vs SYD 16:35MS
ESS vs GEE 19:20ES
PTA vs WBU 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
GWS vs BRI 13:10Spotless Stadium
NTH vs WCE 15:20BA
STK vs HAW 16:40ES
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
GCF vs FRE 13:40MS
WCE vs ESS 16:35Domain Stadium
NTH vs SYD 19:20ES
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
COL vs GWS 13:10MCG
STK vs MEL 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC vs WCE 19:50MCG
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs PTA 13:40MCG
GWS vs NTH 16:35Spotless Stadium
WBU vs BRI 19:20ES
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
GEE vs MEL 15:20SS
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE vs COL 20:10Domain Stadium
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs RIC 19:50SCG
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW vs ESS 13:40MCG
BRI vs ADE 16:35G
STK vs WBU 19:20ES
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs GCF 15:20ES
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PTA 19:20SCG
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
COL vs HAW 19:50MCG
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GWS 13:40MCG
GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
WBU vs CAR 19:20ES
MEL vs WCE 19:40TIO
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs STK 13:10ES
ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE vs BRI 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs COL 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs CAR 19:50MCG
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs MEL 13:40MCG
WBU vs GCF 16:35CAZ
NTH vs GEE 19:20ES
WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs STK 13:10Spotless Stadium
HAW vs FRE 15:20AS
BRI vs SYD 16:40G
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH vs ESS 19:50ES
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs WBU 13:45SS
GCF vs GWS 14:10MS
COL vs WCE 16:35ES
SYD vs HAW 19:20ANZ
FRE vs CAR 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
PTA vs ADE 15:20Adelaide Oval
STK vs RIC 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs GEE 13:45SO
ADE vs GCF 14:10Adelaide Oval
RIC vs FRE 16:35MCG
ESS vs PTA 19:20ES
BRI vs NTH 19:20G
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
WBU vs COL 13:10ES
MEL vs STK 15:20MCG
WCE vs SYD 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW vs RIC 19:50MCG
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs BRI 13:45SS
COL vs MEL 14:10MCG
SYD vs ADE 16:35SCG
CAR vs NTH 19:20ES
GCF vs WCE 19:20MS
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
PTA vs STK 13:10Adelaide Oval
ESS vs WBU 15:20ES
FRE vs GWS 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
WBU vs PTA 14:10ES
BRI vs GCF 16:35G
GEE vs SYD 19:20SS
WCE vs HAW 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL vs NTH 13:10MCG
GWS vs ESS 15:20Spotless Stadium
STK vs FRE 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD vs COL 19:50SCG
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS vs ADE 13:45ES
NTH vs STK 14:10BA
PTA vs GWS 16:35Adelaide Oval
GEE vs HAW 19:20MCG
BRI vs CAR 19:20G
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GCF 13:10MCG
WBU vs MEL 15:20ES
FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW vs PTA 19:50ES
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs RIC 13:45MCG
GWS vs SYD 14:10Spotless Stadium
GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
STK vs GEE 19:20ES
ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH vs FRE 13:10ES
CAR vs MEL 15:20MCG
WCE vs WBU 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs COL 19:50MCG
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
GWS vs CAR 13:45Spotless Stadium
HAW vs BRI 14:10AS
NTH vs WBU 16:35ES
ESS vs RIC 19:20MCG
GCF vs PTA 19:20MS
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE vs WCE 13:10Adelaide Oval
STK vs SYD 15:20ES
FRE vs MEL 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
COL vs ESS 00:00MCG
RIC vs NTH 00:00ES
HAW vs CAR 00:00MCG
GEE vs ADE 00:00SS
SYD vs GCF 00:00SCG
MEL vs GWS 00:00ES
BRI vs WBU 00:00G
PTA vs FRE 00:30Adelaide Oval
WCE vs STK 02:00Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Adelaide Crows 3 3 0 0 171.27 12
Sydney Swans 3 3 0 0 141.75 12
Fremantle 2 2 0 0 139.84 8
Richmond 3 2 1 0 139.37 8
Collingwood 3 2 1 0 125.65 8
Western Bulldogs 2 2 0 0 118.95 8
GWS Giants 3 2 1 0 113.47 8
Essendon 3 2 1 0 104.74 8
View all
 
Featured advertisers