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Scare on baby Bombers

Date

Caroline Wilson and Jon Pierik

Past and present Essendon players were stunned at the line of questioning, which left them concerned their fertility and the health of their unborn children could have been affected as a result of last year's irregular practices at the club.

Past and present Essendon players were stunned at the line of questioning, which left them concerned their fertility and the health of their unborn children could have been affected as a result of last year's irregular practices at the club. Photo: Pat Scala

The impact of Essendon's supplements program on the players' fertility has come under question as a result of the joint inquiry being run by the AFL and ASADA.

Past and present Essendon players were stunned at the line of questioning, which left them concerned their fertility and the health of their unborn children could have been affected as a result of last year's irregular practices at the club.

Several players, including former Bomber Mark McVeigh, were asked whether they were aware of any potential side effects to their health of the program in which a significant number of players were injected twice a week and also placed on intravenous drips as part of the club's edgy attempt to fast-track on-field success.

AFL Players Association chief Matt Finnis refused to comment on specifics of the joint investigation, which will soon be completed, but said: ''I'm not surprised that players have been angry and concerned. I'm aware of the interviews and I've had my representatives and my lawyers at the meetings.

''Suffice to say we are aware of the matters that have been raised and we have never underplayed the seriousness of this inquiry.''

Several concerned Essendon players still unaware of the exact nature of the drugs and supplements administered to them during last year's program have been urged by the AFL and ASADA to seek independent medical advice.

Fairfax Media is not suggesting the Essendon supplements program has been found to have had any harmful long-term effects on the players, their children or their fertility.

McVeigh, previously scornful of the allegations involving Essendon's ''high-risk'' program, told SEN of his change of heart after being grilled by the AFL and ASADA.

''At times in the interview, I was furious,'' he said.

''I didn't fear for my health but I had questions over what I may or may not have had. As I have said all the way along, I always knew what I was told was ASADA and [World Anti-Doping Agency]-approved. So at the time, if I was given a supplement I knew and have seen that's what it was. But there was some suggestion in my interview that's not what it was. I don't know if that's the case. They are still doing their investigations.''

Veteran player agent Peter Jess said he had sought clarification from the AFL Players Association over potential side effects.

''It is has been speculated but not confirmed that these alleged substances may or may not have an impact on any future generation,'' he said.

''Obviously, it is a concern. If you have a government body raising concerns about this now, it's a reason why they should have workers compensation to protect players.

''I would be concerned first and foremost for the players.

''The concerns raised by McVeigh aren't new … clarification has been sought since late last year of the short- and long-term impacts of these alleged substances.''

87 comments

  • Unborn Children? Do EFC have pregnant players?

    Commenter
    CCC
    Location
    CCC
    Date and time
    June 12, 2013, 6:46AM
    • Funny - but not really. Its a disgrace that place.

      When are we gonna see some players banned? The I didn't know excuse has never been a good one. BAN EM ALL!

      Commenter
      Alex
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      June 12, 2013, 9:40AM
    • It takes a man and a woman to make a baby

      Commenter
      jason donvale
      Date and time
      June 12, 2013, 9:52AM
    • Is McVeigh pregnant? Wow! What kind of supplements were these players given? Freaky!

      Commenter
      Twins
      Date and time
      June 12, 2013, 2:11PM
  • Ouch right in the mummy daddy button!

    Commenter
    Dave
    Date and time
    June 12, 2013, 7:00AM
    • No future father sons for essendon in about 17 to 20 years then.

      Commenter
      Dave
      Date and time
      June 12, 2013, 7:00AM
      • Fair dinkum - how long is it going to take for these players to be rubbed out, Essendon loses all points and loses draft picks for the next two seasons.

        This club thumbed it's nose and the competition and must pay.

        The orchestrator (Hird) should have any AFL award or commendation removed from him.

        Better still just wind up the club and start a new one in Tassie

        Commenter
        Gaz
        Location
        Yarrawonga
        Date and time
        June 12, 2013, 7:13AM
        • Take a number and line up behind Melbourne.

          Commenter
          Penster
          Location
          Bondi
          Date and time
          June 12, 2013, 7:51AM
        • Geez Gaz, I wonder who you barrack for ?
          Stephen Dank needs to be held accountable, NOT Essendon and certainly NOT the players. Mr. Dank was trusted to manage a program which James Hird clearly stated in an email needed to be above board, and most importantly the players health needed to be the number 1 priority. Stephen Dank betrayed that trust and was extremely deceitful and clearly dishonest in his approach, and now as far as I'm concerened he needs to be held accountable... Also, if you look at all the other sports clubs in Australia currently under investigation for the same thing, they all have one common dinominator, and that is Mr. Stephen Dank !

          Commenter
          Eric Major
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          June 12, 2013, 8:34AM
        • Fair Dinkum- This comment belongs with this article as they are two of the most moronic things I've ever read.

          Commenter
          2Boards
          Date and time
          June 12, 2013, 8:52AM

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