Petition update and I can now confirm Bruce is in contact with many of the 34 players.
"I can prove ASADA presented a corrupt case to the ADRVP" Bruce Francis.
The following email was sent to Mr Lindsay Tanner, Chairman, Essendon Football Club, and Mr Xavier Campbell, Chief Executive, Essendon Football Club on 23 December 2018 by Mr Bruce Francis, an independent investigator, following the recent success of his FOI appeal.
More importantly, Mr Francis is in contact with many of the Essendon 34 players. He copied these players into this email hoping they would also contact Mr Tanner. He has requested readers of the Petition, Facebook and Blitz to write to Mr Tanner and/or Mr Campbell to urge them to cooperate with him.
"Dear Mr Tanner and Mr Campbell
Please forward this email to the rest of the board and acknowledge that you have done so.
As you are aware, I believed that ASADA not only ran a very corrupt investigation into Essendon in 2013-2014 but also made a corrupted presentation without peer to the Anti-Doping Review Violation Panel (ADRVP) on 3 November 2014.
Unfortunately, without access to the ASADA presentation documents, it was impossible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the ADRVP process was corrupt. To that end, on 22 June 2016, I made an FOI request to ASADA for the ADRVP presentation documents.
After exchanging over one hundred emails and letters with ASADA and the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), ASADA released a 97-page document.to me on 2 November 2018. The bad news was that about 90 pages were redacted. Unbelievably, 30 per cent of the Contents Page was redacted.
The good news for me, the 34 Essendon players and the club, and bad news for ASADA, was there was sufficient information in the seven pages to know I had got the lying bastards. The document, plus my follow-up FOI request, proved that the process to get the Essendon players should have been aborted at the ADRVP stage.
The seven non-redacted pages created an opening to make a further FOI request, which I made on 6 November 2018. ASADA complied yesterday, Friday 21 December.
The released documents on Friday were media reports submitted by ASADA to the ADRVP to make the case that Thymosin was Thymosin Beta-4 and that 34 Essendon players may have been administered Thymosin and therefore may have been administered Thymosin Beta-4. It is unconscionable and incomprehensible that ASADA believed, and the ADRVP accepted, that media reports were evidence, particularly as the media reports were cherry-picked, as you will see. viz
i. A transcript of an interview between Stephen Dank and the ABC’s Caro Meldrum-Hanna
ii. An Age article (5 July 2013) by Richard Baker, Jake Niall, John Silvester and Nick McKenzie. The article contained the Age’s standard go-to play – numerous “we understand” and “unnamed sources”, plus omission of information which would have made the included facts redundant. As an example the article included an invoice for ‘Thymosin peptides’ but forgot to include the fact that the invoice was subsequently reversed.
iii. An Age article (13 June 2014) by Nick McKenzie. This article contributed most to the ADRVP findings, contributed most to the Court of Arbitration for Sport guilty findings and contributed most to Jobe Watson losing his Brownlow. Inter alia, the article said:
“In August that year  ASADA alleges that Dank told Robinson via a text message that TB-4 (my emphasis) would be the ‘cornerstone’ of his work at the Bombers (my emphasis) because it could accelerate player recovery.”
The actual text that was sent on 23 August 2013 said:
“Don’t forget how important Thymosin is. This is going to be our vital cornerstone net year. It is the ultimate assembly regulatory and biological modifier.”
The article written by McKenzie that ASADA tabled with the ADRVP disingenuously replaced the word ‘Thymosin’ with ‘TB-4’
The article written by McKenzie that ASADA tabled with the ADRVP inserted the word ‘Bombers’. The text did not state which organisation Dank was referring to. Given he and Robinson were working on a number of projects, ASADA had no way of knowing who Dank was referring to.
Robinson hadn’t even started at Essendon when the text was sent.
Dank hadn’t even been interviewed for a job at Essendon when he sent the text
ASADA must have illegally obtained a copy of the text from the Australian Crime Commission
It is incomprehensible that ASADA tabled McKenzie’s article with the ADRVP when it knew the article contained an incorrect version of the 23 August 2011 text.
But McKenzie’s stupidity or chicanery, and ASADA’s corruption was only just beginning. In his 13 June 2014 article, McKenzie also referred to an interview with Dank on 9 April 2013. Inter alia, McKenzie said:
“I’d told him that the peptide he had, moments before, freely admitted giving Essendon players in 2012 had been added to the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority’s list of banned doping agents. Previously, the peptide Thymosin Beta 4 (TB4) had only been captured under a catch-all World Anti-Doping Agency clause. Dank had previously claimed to be supremely confident of evading this clause by using his self-professed superior scientific wisdom about what could be deemed a performance-enhancing peptide.
“But TB4’s arrival on a specific list of prohibited WADA substances made it clear that the anti-doping officials who Dank referred to as “idiots” weren’t convinced about Dank’s particular school of science. ASADA’s probe into him was still in its infancy, but Dank knew why the listing of TB4 was bad news. It signalled that ASADA would be gunning for any players he had treated with the drug.
“While still interviewing Dank, I rechecked the ASADA website and told Dank that it listed TB4 as “prohibited in all routes and out of competition”.
“In early April 2013 [9 April 2011), Dank not only told me he used TB4 on Essendon players but said he did so because there was “very good data that supports Thymosin Beta 4”.
“When I told him that according to the ASADA website, WADA had specifically banned the drug, he said the move was “just mind-blowing”.
'I think they’ve only just put that in to back up their case" against the Bombers, he said.
“A day later, when I told Dank that The Age was set to publish his comments about TB4, he asked to clarify his interview. He never meant to refer to Thymosin Beta 4, he told me. The drug he had given the Bombers players was in fact Thymomodulin. Dank and the Bombers have hung onto this claim ever since.
“In contrast, ASADA believes the information supplied to it by Charter, Alavi and others (my emphasis) is enough to convince an anti-doping tribunal that a case has been made out.
McKenzie is either one of the most inept journos of all time and missed a great scoop or he is a liar who changed Dank’s words. Two days after the 9 April 2011 interview referred above in his 13 June 2014 article McKenzie in his 11 April 2011 article inter alia, said:
“When asked why thymosin peptides were given to players as an immune system booster when there is debate about their effectiveness, Dank said: ‘Well, apart from the fact that we won 11 out of our first 14 games … at the end of the day, I was very happy with the science.’"
VIP – Note the difference in the two articles:
In the 11 April 2011 article, which was written two days after the interview, McKenzie quoted Dank using the term “thymosin peptides”. Yet, 429 days later, on 13 June 2014, McKenzie stated unequivocally that Dank used the term “Thymosin Beta-4”. Dank didn’t use the term.
The quote from the 11 April article which referred to Thymosin contained only 51 words in a 1295 word article. Although the two articles were based on the same 9 April 2011 interview, the 13 June 2014 article bears no resemblance to the 11 April 2011 article.
To its great shame, and in an act of corruption ASADA, only tabled McKenzie’s 13 June 2014 article with the ADRVP.
McKenzie’s statement that “ASADA believes the information supplied to it by Charter, Alavi and others (my emphasis) is enough to convince an anti-doping tribunal that a case has been made out depended on ASADA acting corruptly through cherry-picking comments.
Charter told ASADA investigators on 6 May 2013 that he had no direct knowledge of Essendon’s supplementation programme.
On 20 June 2014, The Australian published an article titled ‘Bombers may never know what they took – but neither will ASADA: [claims] Chemist. Inter alia, the article by Chip Le Grand said: “[the compounding pharmacist Nima Alavi said he didn’t know with any certainty what they [the players] were given. And neither, he said, could the anti-doping investigators… Alavi said [if Dank didn’t have the substance he gave him tested] it was impossible to know whether the players were given Thymosin Beta-4, a substance that is banned, Thymosin Alpha 1, a substance that is permitted, the similarly permitted Thymomodulin, or something else altogether. In another corrupted act, ASADA didn’t table this article with the ADRVP. Instead, it relied on McKenzie’s mistake ridden article of 13 June 2014.
As it transpires, despite ASADA’s and McKenzie’s false claims, there were no others.
Although ASADA compiled a spreadsheet titled “Admitted Use of Substances by Players”, it failed to table it with the ADRVP. That document, the accuracy of which was never challenged by ASADA or WADA, indicated that only eight players were administered Thymosin. Which means 26 players should never have been issued with Show Cause Notices. I could go on forever.
Mr Tanner and Mr Campbell, I have countless further examples of ASADA corruption and chicanery with respect to its ADRVP presentation. I also know that you have countless examples in your files that could help clear the players and enable Jobe to get his Brownlow back. To that end, this is a request for you to send me a copy of the [ASADA] CEO Recommendation Show Cause Pack that was tabled by the club at the Middleton hearing. This is the redacted document ASADA sent me.
If you are not prepared to send me a copy, and as I am not well enough to travel (I haven’t been on a plane this century) I am prepared to pay for the airfare for a person of your choice to bring the copy to my place so that I can question the person on the content of the 90 redacted pages. I have no interest in what would be deemed personal information of the players, AFL or Essendon.
I am staggered that although you have stated unambiguously that the players were not guilty, you have done nothing to help repair their and the club’s severely damaged reputation. This is your chance to do something. This is a opportunity to help Jobe get his Brownlow back. It is a chance to show you really care.
I don’t understand that the club went to great lengths to protect a very senior executive around Christmas but won’t lift a finger to help the wrongly convicted players.
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.