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Stephen Dank withdraws appeal against drugs panel with Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Stephen Dank has withdrawn an appeal he lodged with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal against the Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel.

The panel is the only body empowered to enter Dank’s name on the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority’s Register of Findings -  the action that typically precedes the issuing of an infraction notice over alleged breaches of drug rules.

Fairfax Media confirmed on Wednesday that Dank’s appeal against the panel - a federal government-appointed group of anti-doping, sport and legal experts that independently reviews all cases being pursued by ASADA - was lodged on June 2. The appeal was withdrawn on Wednesday.

Dank’s move to appeal against an action by the panel suggested his case with ASADA had progressed - significantly - since he was issued with a show-cause notice for 34 anti-doping rule breaches he allegedly committed when working for AFL clubs Essendon and Gold Coast.

But Fairfax Media understands that Dank has not been issued with any notification to suggest he has been placed on the Register of Findings, though he has previously indicated it would not surprise him if he was because he had not responded to ASADA's show-cause notice.

In an absence of a Register of Findings entry, Dank’s move to appeal against the panel appeared unorthodox, though it’s understood the logic behind the strategy was to be pre-emptive.

Last week, the AAT described the appeal as being at pre-mediation stage. The AAT said the withdrawal of any appeal could only be carried out by written notification from the applicant or a representative.