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


Correct Bigallan,
These institutions are an embarrassment to sport and all those who participate.


Not to distract from the game-day feel-good, but Peakey on SEN is teasing good things in Canberra for the players. To talk about it later in the current show.

EDIT: they never got back to it…


Orders of Australia all round?


I’m not clicking on it, but I assume the C Judd article about the saga ‘taking EFC closer to a flag’ largely if not completely discounts how the team may have developed in the absence of said saga. The Rage sowing yet more seeds of discontent for any potential future success.


Blue juice, chicken winging, eye gouging Judd.
Wheres that blue juice video?


Seeing us it’s been 4 years since I’ve clicked on that rag, my curiosity got the better of me and seeing as I went there may as well post it here.

(don’t know what’s happened today as I am going to watch my first non Essendon game since last year’s GF too)

(think he may have had help to write it as it too well written :slight_smile:)

The Great Depression of the 1930s caused significant suffering for millions of people around the world. But one of the often-forgotten consequences was that life expectancy increased by more than six years, largely because people had less money to spend on alcohol, tobacco or overly indulgent amounts of food.

The suffering endured because of the Depression was very different to the pain experienced by the Essendon Football Club over the past five years. However, watching the Bombers obliterate Port Adelaide on Saturday night, it’s clear that the hardship shouldered by many at that club has also bought some unintended benefits that leaves them comfortably in the top eight and perhaps much closer to a premiership than they would be if they had never employed Stephen Dank.

That’s not to suggest for a second that Essendon would feel anything but a deep regret for what transpired. The ‘real world’ costs of players being concerned about their own health, or the health of their kids, the loss of players such as Paddy Ryder, Angus Monfries and Stewart Crameri, plus the draft sanctions and commercial costs, were enormous. Big enough that many thought Essendon as a club would be crippled for a decade. However, fast forward to today and there looks to be plenty of blue sky.

While the addition of No.1 draft pick Andrew McGrath and coach John Worsfold are among the most visual benefits that Essendon have received, there have been other, less obvious advantages that seem to be assisting with the team’s climb up the ladder.

The first of those was the freedom that Essendon had to develop and experiment with their list last year without worrying about losing games. Having so many of their best team banned for 12 months meant expectations for their on-field performance were probably the lowest of any club since the AFL competition was formed. Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti and Orazio Fantasia are two players who would have made it anyway, but whose development was fast-tracked through the exposure and responsibility they gained from playing senior football last year.

That responsibility didn’t just benefit players yet to establish themselves in the team. The leadership of players like Zach Merrett and Joe Daniher is miles ahead of where it would have been if all the major decisions last year were being made by Jobe Watson, Dyson Heppell and the rest of the existing leaders. It usually takes players until the second half of their careers to develop a broader view of the club and its needs, and usually extensive opportunities for players to lead don’t open up until the halfway point in their careers. For Merrett and Daniher, this growth has occurred earlier than it would have if they weren’t thrust into the deep end in 2016.

Development of players is one integral component to successful teams, as is closeness and a genuine care for each other. The main ingredients for building bonds are either hardship or success and time. Usually in the AFL system, hardship is caused by underperformance and followed by significant list turnover, preventing the ingredient of time to do its work.

However, Essendon’s unique struggles, as well as the senior management and coach’s impressive ability to stay galvanised, has meant that this group may have created a bond through the adversity they’ve faced that’s hard to break.

While the team’s improvement can’t be ignored, there’s still plenty of hard work to do before they’re being spoken about as serious contenders. Commercially, there will be a lot of ground to make up before they’re back as a powerhouse club.

In today’s game, finances (and the ability to spend on the football department) are linked to on-field success. But if Darcy Parish decides to take the same level of ownership over the football club as Merrett has over the past couple of years, if Aaron Francis learns how to run, and if list manager Adrian Dodoro finds another couple of players like Fantasia with draft picks in the mid 50s, they’ll soon enter conversations around the competition as a club where players should no longer book overseas trips for late September.


Thanks Miss Ellie,

Well it’s not the “… but they shouldn’t have got the No. pick” angle I expected (that will come in comments somewhere no doubt).
Financially there is ground to make up, but commercially? We have record membership numbers. Have we lost any sponsors?
As for being “comfortably” in the 8, well no, not at all. And the other side of that of course is that with the season so close, we may well have been there anyway, albeit without having blooded a couple of young blokes. I’m not sure how much of JD and Zerret’s development you can attribute to last year - they seem like natural leaders to me.


I normally stay as far from this thread as possible, but I’ll make an exception to say I agree with you. I don’t think Judd’s really right at all. Yes we got Andrew McGrath as a draft pick, but that’s about the only thing you can really say has been a benefit. Worsfold is a good coach; but Hird might have been as good, if not better. And yes, a few of the top-ups have been winners, but on the other hand how good would Hooker, Hurley, Watson, Ryder, Monfries, etc., etc., have been without the burden of the saga ruining four years of their careers?

All you can really say is that we seem to have come out of the depths a bit more quickly than was generally expected. And that’s good.


best delete that…

Hey, tomorrow is Tuesday


LOL, ASADA knocks back yet another FOI request on grounds of legal professional privilege and privacy obligations.
Justification for LPP was cited as litigation or anticipated litigation. The Earl case, Essendon and Cronulla litigation are completed, what might be anticipated re other clubs after all these years, seeing ASADA has not set any processes in train which could be anticipated as leading to litigation?
As to privacy, ASADA does have the power to share information with WADA and sporting federations, but what does ASADA or the Government do if those bodies breach privacy in respect of the information given to them? It is evident that ASADA cannot respect its privacy obligations once it passes on such information to private bodies.
Not a peep from the Government when Fahey relayed private information about the Essendon coach at the 11 May 2013 WADA Executive Committee - yet the Government is represented on that Committee by the Sports Minister. Instead it rewarded Fahey by donating US 65k to his personal expenses.


Who was the applicant and information sought?


I read it on the right to know site, a request to ASADA for a copy of the Downes report. Senator Madigan had also been knocked back under FOI. He then took it to the Senate Reference Committee, another knock back ( in part justified by ongoing legal processes at that time) after which the election prevented his opportunities to pursue it further.
If you view the requests to ASADA on that site, there is a pattern of technical justification for refusing to release information and , in some cases, a denial of the existence of information ( which stretches credulity)


Good old FOI eh? Watched Team America - World Police tonight and was reminded “Freedom isn’t free, Now there’s a hefty ferkin’ fee”


Is it possible that Dank and his threats of litigation against ASADA, the AFL and Essendon are used by ASADA when “cited as litigation or anticipated litigation”?


Surely we can scrounge up a ‘buck o five?’


I don’t claim expertise in Legal Professional Privilege but understand that “anticipated” means more than " possible".
I don’t know whether anticipated would extend to those parts of the Downes report which might be unfavourable to ASADA arguments , whose disclosure would trigger action against ASADA ( for leaving out the bits in its prosecution).


One of the few times, I can say good on the Herald Sun for focussing on the issue and putting it on the front page.

Best wishes to Nat-rat, partner and families, I hope the medico’s can find a way to help his baby.


Possibly, but how long can ASADA use this excuse?


Latest from Bruce.
How is it, information lifted and quoted from ASADA & WADA’s documents can be so universally ignored? Does no one with authority or power have a moral compass?

13 June 2017

The Hon Greg Hunt MP

Minister for Sport

Dear Minister

The sixteen ‘Strands in the Cable’ in the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) Judgement were the key elements in upholding the World Anti-Doping Authority’s (WADA) Appeal against the Australian Football League (AFL) Tribunal’s determination in favour of thirty-four players charged by the Australian Anti-Doping Sports Authority (ASADA) with anti-doping violations relating to Thymosin Beta-4. I have dissected those strands in detail and have proved they have no substance.

The Panel identified the strands in the cable supporting WADA’s case at clause 120 of its judgement. Today, I am addressing CAS rationale nonsense for Strand (vii)

Strand (vii): “In the 32 ASADA interviews, six players said that Mr Dank had identified what he was injecting as ‘Thymosin’.”
My Comment

  1.         Text messages and the players’ interviews indicate that eight players, not six, were administered Thymosin by Stephen Dank. As WADA did not table any evidence to the contrary, it must be accepted as fact that the other 26 players were not administered Thymosin.
  2.         Therefore, it was sheer bastardry by WADA charging those 26 players with being administered Thymosin Beta-4.
  3.         Worse still, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) panel was either incompetent and/or biased and/or corrupt in finding those 26 players guilty of being administered Thymosin Beta-4.
  4.         To find the remaining eight players guilty of being administered Thymosin Beta-4, WADA had to prove Thymosin was the generic name for Thymosin Beta-4.
  5.         There is no reason, nor evidence to believe that the identified Thymosin is Thymosin Beta-4.
  6.         To its shame, WADA conveniently forgot during discovery to lodge an email dated 3 July 2012, from ASADA’s science and results manager Dr Stephen Watt, to WADA, he said: “I wanted to enquire if WADA has considered the prohibited status of the drug Thymomodulin also known as Thymosin’? (my emphasis).
  7.         Nothing could be clearer, the top science guru at ASADA agreed with Dank that Thymosin was also known as Thymomodulin.
  8.         If the players had contacted ASADA during 2012, as the CAS panel complained they should have, and asked about the status of Thymosin, ASADA would have told them that Thymosin was the generic name for Thymomodulin and it wasn’t banned.
  9.         Although Essendon high performance manager Dean Robinson told ASADA investigators that he didn’t remember anything about Thymomodulin and that the word Thymomodulin “didn’t ring a bell”, he wasn’t telling the truth. Unconscionably, the panel believed him despite the fact that on 15 June 2012, Robinson emailed Dr Reid a list of supplements to be administered between the mid-year bye and the 2012 Grand Final. Inter alia, the email said: “THYMOMODULIN (my emphasis) weekly, two days pre-game. Cerebrolysin two ml split fortnightly two days before game … Two monthly intravenous immune booster.”
  10.     Dean Wallis testified that when he cleaned out Dank’s fridge he found three vials of Thymomodulin. Wallis photographed one of the vials of Thymomodulin and the photograph was tabled as evidence.
  11.     The label and font on the Wallis’s photograph of the vial of Thymomodulin was identical to the label and font on the vial of Thymomodulin used in a promotional video by compounding pharmacist Nima Alavi.
  12.     There was no evidence that anyone ever saw a vial of Thymosin Beta-4 at Essendon.
  13.     WADA omitted exculpatory evidence that would have helped clear the eight players. Inter alia, WADA didn’t table evidence that Dank and Melbourne football club Dr Dan Bates exchanged texts for eight months from mid-2012. The text indicates that Melbourne was using Thymomodulin, Cerebrolysin and AOD-9604 on some of its players.
  14.     It is illogical that Dank would use, as determined by the CAS panel, Thymosin Beta-4 at Essendon, and then change to Thymomodulin at Melbourne. Inter alia, the texts included:

Dr Bates to Dank: “Sorry, you still up. Trengrove is not going to Darwin [for the 21 July 2012 match] so I don’t need the Thymomodulin for tomorrow.”

Dr Bates to Dank: “When can we book guys for injections? We will need to give them times. Dan.”

  1.       The expectation of an enhanced rate of recovery was just as readily an effect of the boost to the immune system occasioned by a Thymomodulin injection as any recovery effect from a Thymosin Beta-4 injection or an AOD-9604 injection. Thymomodulin and Thymosin Beta-4 can both be used for performance recovery but in a very different way. With Thymomodulin it is from the effect of a boost in the immune system.
  2.       Dank explained publicly on numerous occasions that the worst thing that can happen to a football team is for a player or players to catch a cold or the flu because both invariably spread throughout the team.
  3.       Boosting the immune systems with Thymomodulin not only wards off colds and flu, (recovery from them), but it also speeds recovery from injury. If a player sustains a soft tissue injury, for example, it takes longer to recover if he has a cold or flu and his immune system is low.
  4.       Inexplicably, given evidence to the contrary, the CAS panel dismissed the notion that anything was ever used at Essendon to boost the immune system.
  5.       Stewart Crameri’s interview included the following exchange:

Aaron Walker (ASADA investigator): “Yep, now from your perspective Stu. What did you think Thymosin was doing for you?”

Stewart Crameri: “He [Dank] said it was an immune booster.” (my emphasis).

  1.          In articles in the Age 11 April and 24 August 2013, ASADA, WADA and the panel’s darling, Nick McKenzie quoted Dank saying he used an immune booster. CAS ignored this part of McKenzie’s article, presumably, because it damaged its case.
  2.     On 1 December 2011, Mr Vince Xu, Global Sales Manager for GL Biochem (Shanghai) Ltd, sent an email to Mr Shane Charter stating:

The ‘Thank you very much for your time to visit us, It’s our great honour. Mr Xu then outlined their ability to supply Mr Charter with: GHRP-6; GHRP-2; CJC-1295; Melanotan II; Thymosin; Thymosin Beta 4 and MGF (Mechano Growth Factor). Mr Xu also advised that he could not provide HGH-191; HJCG, IGF1-LR3 or AOD-1296 (sic).

  1.     Mr Xu clearly made a distinction between Thymosin and Thymosin Beta-4. In his view, Thymosin is not Thymosin Beta-4.
  2.     According to ASADA, Shane Charter claimed, and it accepted his claim that he only ordered Thymosin Beta-4 from GL Biochem Shanghai on one occasion – the one above. 
  3.     Although Charter produced scores of texts and emails between Dank and himself, he did not produce a single text or email from Dank ordering Thymosin Beta-4 or asking him to travel to China.
  4.     Even if Dank had ordered Thymosin Beta-4 from Charter, the ordering itself is irrelevant, as Dank has never denied the perfectly legal use of Thymosin Beta-4 in his private Ageing clinic.
  5.     There is no evidence other than ASADA investigator Aaron Walker’s untested say-so that Mr Xu told him that he sent Thymosin Beta-4 to Cedric Anthony’s warehouse in Shanghai for forwarding to Melbourne at a later date. But even if Walker’s evidence is accurate, this does not constitute evidence that Thymosin Beta-4 was delivered to Dank, let alone to Dank at Essendon to administer to the players.
  6.     Chip Le Grand in his book ‘The Straight Dope’, records that Cedric Anthony told him that he kept various versions of Thymosin in his warehouse fridge, and on receiving instructions from Charter forwarded raw material labelled ‘Thymosin’ to compounding pharmacist Nima Alavi in Melbourne.
  7.     Le Grand interviewed Alavi in June 2014, and on 20 June the Australian newspaper published Le Grand’s article. Inter alia, Le Grand stated that Mr Alavi said, 

“It was impossible to know [my emphasis] 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.” Mr Alavi said the shipment arrived at his pharmacy simply marked ‘Thymosin’. “It didn’t tell me what type it was, which worried me a little bit.” He said peptide materials imported from China could be notoriously unreliable. “When it is something from overseas, it could be anything”.

“I’m not sure what he [Dank] has done with it. He may have very well taken it to the club and used it on the players. If he has done that – which I can’t be sure of – we still don’t know what type of Thymosin it was because that was the whole point of me in giving it to him to have it tested.”

  1.     Dank has stated that he picked up a number of clear unlabelled vials from Alavi in January 2012. These were the vials Alavi refers to above and were created as a result of his compounding the raw material labelled ‘Thymosin’ that was sent by Cedric Anthony that arrived in Melbourne on 28 December 2011. This was purportedly the same substance ordered by Charter and supplied by Mr Xu from GL Biochem. Alavi gave the vials to Dank for testing due to the cost, which Alavi was not willing to cover.
  2.     Dank stated publicly that the substance in the clear vials was ruined when inadvertently exposed to the sunlight and was thus unusable and had to be thrown out. Dank’s version of events is supported by the paper trail that has Alavi issuing an invoice, and then reversing part of it that included the Thymosin.
  3.     An invoice issued by Alavi’s company Como Compounding Pharmacy on 31 January includes various substances supplied to Essendon on 10 January 2012, and 26 vials of ‘Peptide Thymosin’ and 7 vials of Hexarelin supplied on 18 January. As ASADA recorded in its Interim Report,

‘the costs of the Hexarelin and the Thymosin were re-credited to the Club in a subsequent invoice dated 29 February 2012, and did not form part of the final amount ultimately paid by Essendon, under the authority of Hamilton sometime after 11 April 2012.’

  1.     Either the substance was unusable for a fault prior to Dank picking it up, or the substance was not intended for Essendon and shouldn’t have been invoiced there in the first place. Either way, the reversal of the invoice is evidence that the substance, whatever it was, was not used at Essendon.
  2.     The relevance to the WADA case of Dank throwing out the vials, or their not being destined for Essendon in the first place, is that Charter and Mr Xu were involved in only one order and supply to Dank and ASADA has accepted Charter’s word on that. Thus, their involvement in the matter is finished with the destruction of the vials, and the reversal of the invoice. They are irrelevant, and have no bearing on the case.
  3.     WADA offered no evidence that the ‘Thymosin’ sent by Anthony to Melbourne was Thymosin Beta-4.
  4.     WADA offered no evidence that the batch of ‘Thymosin’ was not destroyed as Dank stated, and the paper trail suggests.
  5.     Even if the batch were not destroyed, WADA has no evidence that it was used at Essendon.
  6.     No payment for the 27 vials in the batch was made by Essendon, providing further evidence that it was not used at Essendon.
  7.          Thymomodulin is a non-prohibited supplement.
  8.          Watt’s email of 3 July 2012 to WADA proves that ASADA and WADA knew that Thymomodulin is often referred to informally as Thymosin, and yet both chose not to disclose this fact in either the former’s case against the players before the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal, or the latter’s Appeal before the CAS panel. The omission is inexcusable and again some would argue ‘sinister’.

Minister, it is time you stepped up to the plate. You have a first class honours law degree. Are you comfortably satisfied that 34 Players were administered Thymosin? Are you comfortably satisfied that Thymosin is Thymosin Beta-4? I thought not. Don’t you think you have a moral obligation to do something?

As I have stated before, your refusal to establish a Royal Commission means that you and the Prime Minister are condoning unprecedented misconduct and/or corruption by the AFL, ASADA, WADA, VWA, CAS and the Ombudsman’s office. Tragically, that won’t be your only legacy. During the week we learned that the former CEO of WADA, David Howman, who charged the 26 players, has just been appointed chairman of the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), by Lord Coe, President of the International Athletics Association Federation. And to cap off the incomprehensible, Coe and Howman have just appointed the AFL’s Brett Clothier as head of the AIU. Clothier lied and contributed to prostituting the joint AFL/ASADA investigation. Clothier was given access to all the witness statements and then gave evidence against James Hird in an email. ASADA accepting Clothier testifying was corruption of the highest order. He wasn’t questioned about it. It was accepted as fact when it was a lie. The information submitted by Clothier helped the AFL destroy Hird’s life. Interestingly, Clothier submitted his email at 12.33pm on 17 July 2013. Caroline Wilson’s Age article written the day before included the guts of Clothier’s email.

Thus, your refusal to establish a Royal Commission helped these two unsuitable people to obtain positions they are not entitled to hold.

Yours faithfully

Bruce Francisco


That’s as good a summary as your gonna get and I continue to admire his continued determination to get to the truth.

Ultimately imo the govt won’t do anything because it will show asada as being inept and that can’t happen.