Sorry Saga - “It’s actually quite funny people thinking they know more than they actually do”


The CAS transcripts: highlights from Day 3 (part 2)

The following gives insight into statements from various lawyers, CAS panellists, and expert witnesses, that most media have never reported.

Out of respect to players, their names are redacted. “PLAYER” refers to different players at different times.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

DR VINE [expert witness for players: I’m sort of puzzled about why WADA have the issue that you can use multiple isotope peaks for fragments but it’s silent about parents.

PROF THEVIS [expert witness for WADA]: No, it’s the other way round; you can have that for parents but not fragments.

DR VINE: I thought it was fragments, not parents.

PROF THEVIS: Yes, you’re right, sorry, yeah.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

PROF BOYD [expert witness for players]: … it’s well-known that platelets are a very rich source of TB-4, and platelet-rich plasma is accepted by sporting bodies such as the AFL as a legitimate treatment, and I think it’s highly possible that platelet-rich plasma injected into a player for whatever purpose could result in an endogenous increase in TB-4. It can be exogenous provided by the platelets and the platelets themselves can produce its production by surrounding white cells.

THE CHAIR: Just give us examples of when that might be used?

PROF BOYD: In treatment of knee injuries, for example.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

GLEESON [for AFL]: Does it mean that, in order to obtain any benefit from the product, you’d need be injecting it only hours before the game starts, or the training?

PROF BOYD [expert witness for players]: Well, that’s right; what we don’t know is the time it takes to biologically affect any tissues once it was deliberately injected… the kinetics to that, to my knowledge, have not been worked out properly, nor are they absolutely unequivocally proven.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

PROF MADIGAN [expert witness for players]: … we have the 27 measurements from the Essendon players and then we have this set of 54 measurement from other AFL players, some from Essendon.

The key question is, in the 27 Essendon players, the one value in particular, and maybe some of the other ones as well, the question is, are they really large values? How do we know that they are large values? So when you compare it with the 54 measurements, there are large values in there too. It seems to me that, to then say, ahh, but that’s because those players must have been doping, is just all too convenient…

It seems to me, the comparison of the 27 and the 54 in no way demonstrates that there was doping going on of the Essendon players.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

PROF HANDELSMAN [expert witness for WADA]: I believe that doping of TB-4 was quite prevalent in 2012 among AFL…

SPIGELMAN [CAS arbitrator]: This is not within your area of expertise, is it? You’ve been provided this information by someone else?

PROF HANDELSMAN: As a person who is involved in anti-doping, it is something I observe, watch closely.

SPIGELMAN: But it’s equivalent to a lay interest.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

PROF HANDELSMAN: I think it’s also known that Dank managed individual players privately outside specific clubs.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

HALLOWES [for two players]: …even if we classed the 10 samples above 20 nanograms per millilitre as potentially suspicious from the AFL samples, that’s actually a higher rate of suspicion amongst that broader AFL community than there is in the Essendon Football Club; correct?

PROF HANDELSMAN: That’s possible, yes.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

CLELLAND: We would have thought that the relevant enquiry was what evidence Professor Handelsman has that any of those players in the AFL sample were using Thymosin Beta-4 within 24 hours of the test.

PROF HANDELSMAN: No, I do not have evidence…

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

GLEESON [for the AFL]: If the tribunal were to find that this [EFC] player did not receive an injection of TB-4 within the 24 hours, that would strike a fatal blow for your conclusion that the AFL samples, the other AFL samples, indicate that TB-4 was being widely used within the AFL.

J34 comment: It would also strike a fatal blow for WADA’s case against 34 players.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

GLEESON: Did you ever receive one of your injections on match day?


GLEESON: Did you ever receive one of your injections on the day before match day?


J34 comment: wouldn’t any alleged use of a performance-enhancing substance be before a game?

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Justice for the 34 renews its call for a Senate or Independent inquiry into anti-doping with wide ranging terms of reference which allow all sporting bodies, all athletes, and all interested parties to make representations.

It’s in the national interest.

Support an independent inquiry to sort this mess out.


LOL/rage at CAS desperately trying to stop the suggestion that TB4 use was common across the AFL.



That information above is very dodgy, how could it ever be called “evidence”?

But it was.
Players were found guilty on the back of this.
The fallout from this has been devastating.

A reader of this information could get quite angry.


That was the great irony of WADA’s approach - come up with a new TB4 test to get a positive test finding on the E34 only to find that most of the non-Essendon players had higher readings - as did players from other codes.


Luckily for WADA that had those wonderful, impartial CAS panel members to come up with a reason to invalidate those test results so they weren’t used.

Otherwise the case against the E34 gets thrown out or literally tens/hundreds of other AFL and non-AFL athletes have to be issued with a Show Cause Notice.

Really does give hypocrisy a new meaning.


Handelsman’s opinion is on a par with Fitzpatrick’s opinion that the players must have been on PEDs.
How compromised is Handelsman as a scientist? Yet he has acted as an advisor to ASADA and is represented on WADA bodies as well as being involved in relevant UNESCO work.


So Either lots of the AFL players were doping in 2012 on TB4

or Essendon players were innocent.

which one is more plausible…


There certainly does appear to be a fair few clowns pretending to be WADA/ASADA scientists. The anti-doping cause would work better if they better understood their personal skill-set and joined the circus; preferably the Moscow circus as it’s probably crooked and they excel in that space.


…or the test does not provide any useful data whatsoever; just like the spectrometer reading on the unknown substance in the clear vials that Dank picked up from Alavi, which I think was WADA’s critical piece of fiction in their fairytale of Snow White and the 7 strands.


Yet weren’t his claims of widespread use of TB4 rejected by CAS and disowned by WADA?
I can’t quite recall the findings but thought that was the case.

So while his testimony is interesting, it’s not much to get outraged about in isolation if it wasn’t accepted.


And TB4 is naturally occurring. It’s meant to synthesise as part of recovery of the body.

AFL players putting themselves under enormous stress so expected would have higher levels.

There was no standard to work against and perhaps if you want to make wild assumptions like CAS did. Because we were actually taking Thymomodulin which also aids recovery and is immune booster the EFC players werent needing to produce as much TB4

Hence other AFL players had higher levels

It’s farcical how bad the evidence was that ASADA/WADA used and how pathetically desperate for that scalp they were.


It was the prosecutor’s case. I think the reason the CAS panel rejected it was not because of doubts about the effectiveness of the tests (hell, they accepted dodgier evidence than this), it was because they understood the implications of this “evidence” and the ■■■■■ storm that would emerge if it was accepted.


Thank you, I have changed it. Charming fellow from Adelaide as I recall.


Correct re AFL tribunal and CAS, but if his advice was taken to inform the ASADA CEO in referring charges to the ADRVP and in informing the ADRVP in coming to its decision?
In response to an FOI request, the ASADA CEO claimed that he was unable to identify any relevant records other than the ADRVP decision.


Handelsman also sat in judgement as a WADA Expert Users Group member that determined meldonium to be performance enhancing and be added to the WADA Banned List on January 1st 2016. Therefore he was one of a group of WADA labelled “experts” who failed dismally in considering pharmacokinetic data that showed that meldonium could be detected in the body for up to 9 months after administration.

This is the same lack of rigor exhibited by WADA scientists when TB4 was deemed to be performance enhancing. Now, in 2018, there is still no clinical evidence that the administration of TB4 has any clinical effect. It is banned because people use it, believing the marketing hype that it is PE. If we were to apply that logic then all complementary medicines would be banned.


The way the TGA are travelling that seems to be the way they are moving. Homeopathy is the next modality in the gun in a big way. Next…………………………………………


They are the only 2 options. There is no other.
If 34 players from the Essendon list were on regular injections of TB4 it is impossible to reconcile this with a lower incidence of elevated levels than the cross competition samples.
Either the premise is wrong (ie they weren’t being injected with TB4) and the elevated readings were naturally occurring, or they were being injected with TB4 and the whole competition was doing it to a greater extent.
It is impossible to argue that the readings were due to natural occurrence, but that Essendon players were being injected, and it failed to yield a higher incidence on the testing.


Jodi, that is the reason no one “in the old boys club” would want this point examined any further. It would bring the whole house of cards down and I’m not talking about AFL House. They will ensure nothing ever unravels that way because the way it works is via the old boys referral service.


It should be headlines in every paper that covered the saga.

  1. Essendon players wrongly convicted.
  2. TB4 doping widespread across competition in 2012. Several clubs and players facing charges.


I just don’t understand why someone like Four Corners would not have run with that, plus all the other injustices in the Saga. Instead they tried to climb on the bandwagon with that lame Hal Hunter episode.



Govt influence anyone ?