Essendon players took 'secret' injections: report

By staff writers with Sportal, Yahoo!7 February 6, 2013, 8:50 am

Off-site injections given to Essendon players will reportedly be at the centre of the AFL's investigation into possible inappropriate use of substances by the club's sports science staff.

As the fallout from the investigation begins, News Ltd is reporting Bombers players were taken to off-site locations and injected with unknown supplements during last season.

It comes as two other clubs, Geelong and Gold Coast Suns, said they would assist the investigation after confirming they previously employed individuals involved with the Bombers' fitness program.

On Tuesday, Essendon confirmed they had asked the AFL and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority to launch an investigation after the club discovered "concerning" information about supplements taken by their players.

ASADA's regulations mirror those of the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA), where players and officials can face up to a two-year ban for a first offence.

Former Essendon player Kyle Reimers said the club knew they were pushing the boundaries when they took supplements last year.

Reimers, who was delisted by the club at the end of last year, told Channel Nine that players were asked to sign waivers taking responsibility for supplement use.

"They admitted to it, it was right on the edge," he said.

"Speaking to blokes from other clubs, I don't think anyone's ever thought about signing it or doing the stuff we were doing.

"After a few months away from it ... it does seem very odd the type of stuff we were taking."

Essendon have also reportedly suspended high-performance manager Dean Robinson pending the inquiry.

Robinson, nicknamed 'The Weapon', came under fire last year when the Bombers suffered a staggering run of soft-tissue injuries.

The former Geelong employee joined the Bombers in 2011 and recruited sports scientist Stephen Dank, known as 'The Pharmacist', to assist with Essendon's new training program.

Dank, who was sacked by the Bombers last year, had previously worked at the Suns and NRL club Manly. Manly have released a statement saying they complied with all anti-doping regulations during Dank's time at the club.

AFL boss Andrew Demetriou said it would be premature to comment on any possible sanctions and urged people to "not jump to conclusions".

However, he said ignorance about the legality of substances is not an excuse.

"Under the ASADA rules, whether you knew or not it's no excuse ... they are the WADA rules," Demetriou said.

"Under the rules, the way they are structured at the moment, which all world sport has to follow, they apply to officials and under our rules they can apply to a club.

"In relation to WADA, when it comes to rules, and the rules are pretty specific, and other people have abused them ... but these guys get educated every year and they know before they ingest anything or take anything, and if you have any doubt, you ring the hotline or ring your doctor."

While supporting the investigation, the AFL Players' Association (AFLPA) indicated the club should take responsibility for substances given to their players.

"Clubs providing players with supplements and directions as to their players' training requirements have a significant responsibility and in our view, any concerns regarding the nature of such directions ought to be treated with the utmost seriousness," AFLPA chief executive Matt Finnis said.

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  1. underarm_bowler06:07pm Wednesday 06th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Who cares what they take. Let it be free for all

  2. Jazzer11:26am Wednesday 06th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    According to the radio this morning this rumour had been going around for awhile and more questions were starting to be asked which is why Essendon decided to come out about it

  3. Jazzer11:21am Wednesday 06th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Waivers if you were signing these then you know you were doing something dodgy

  4. Geoff5110:17am Wednesday 06th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    bomber thompson brought this so-called weapon over from geelong to essendon, sadly this has to put a damper on geelongs premieships under thompsons reign as coach..........its about time all these sports science bludgers were given the heave#$%$ out of the afl, for all they seem to do is cause more havoc than good, you also only have to look at the mess they are causing in the australian cricket side. SPORT SCIENCE IS DESTROYING THE SPIRIT AND ESSENCE OF SPORT

  5. Geoff5109:39am Wednesday 06th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    players going off to secret locations for injections, you have to be joking,no-way the club didnt know what was going on..........bombers season in tatters, so much for their messiah's in hird and thompson

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  7. Glib11:41am Wednesday 06th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    AFL full of corruption.

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  10. Ghost Hunter10:04am Wednesday 06th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Of course they're using 'enhancing performance' and most probably these are illegal drugs being provided by the clubs from the management level on downwards ! You'd have to be a blind fool to think otherwise. Why do you think 'unsteady eddie' had such a giant dummy spit when some of his team's users,but not all, had their names released in the media ??? He is more worried the truth about management knowing and hiding their own involvement than the fact the players are junkies !