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Can Essendon hold back the Peptide?

Redb Roar Guru

By Redb, Redb is a Roar Guru

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    In the days, weeks, and months ahead, Essendon faces a terribly difficult and possibly catastrophic time.

    There is no point hiding the fact that the club appears to be in big trouble. A sporting club does not call in ASADA for a random audit.

    The use of supplements such as Peptides is widely practiced across many sporting clubs. 90% are legal and approved by various sporting bodies around the world. It’s the remaining 10% that is cause for concern.

    So the big issue, if the Peptides given to Essendon players are in the 90% why would the fitness staff ask players to sign a waiver to protect themselves or the club?

    The content of the waivers is unknown. It could be as innocent as a simple medical waiver covering off side effects or perhaps something more sinister.

    It appears the players under the guidance of fitness guru Dean ‘The Weapon’ Robinson and sports medicine innovator Stephen Dank have conducted a supplements program that has been described as on the edge.

    Naturally, social media exploded on Tuesday when the news broke amid the speculation of alleged supplement abuse and waiver forms signed by Essendon players.

    Kyle Reimers was front and centre of fan anger as it appears he has gone to the media over the supplement use. Reimers was delisted by Essendon at the end of 2012 season and has not signed with another club.

    However, in my opinion the anger at Reimers although understandable is misplaced. If Essendon have done nothing wrong he is just a disgruntled ex-player; it happens in football. Reimers though is the least of the problems for the club.

    Dank left the club last year and Robinson has now been stood down subject to the investigation.

    Tens of thousands of Bomber fans are left in sheer bewilderment and distress that this is happening to our club. Essendon was founded in 1872, this scandal could rock the club to its very core.

    Player or club ignorance is no excuse. Even if the players thought the substances and injections were all perfectly fine and it’s found they have been given illegal supplements they face a lengthy ban.

    The worse case is a two year ban for a large group of players or the club itself suspended for two years. That is nothing short of catastrophic for many people who hold the red and black very dear.

    Until the investigation is over this is all speculation. I just hope it’s not a king tide.

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    The Crowd Says (59)

    • February 6th 2013 @ 10:12am
      Bunny Colvin said | February 6th 2013 @ 10:12am | ! Report

      Any wonder Goofy Demetriou was on the front foot in the press last week talking about all the narcotics used by AFL players. Was wondering what he was on about. Obviously the league knew something was about to blow up.

      I see Essendon’s management are already trying to pin the blame and deflect from themselves using the old ignorance defense. Getting very tiring this.

      • Roar Guru

        February 6th 2013 @ 10:32am
        Redb said | February 6th 2013 @ 10:32am | ! Report

        Nick Maxwell Collingwood Captain said on radio yesterday that he doesn’t know what supplements he takes he trusts the sports science medicos. How would a CEO or Coach know what the supplements are? They trust their people to stay within WADA guidelines.

        • February 6th 2013 @ 11:44am
          Bunny Colvin said | February 6th 2013 @ 11:44am | ! Report

          If you cannot drink it or eat it and you have to inject it, then what the hell are you doing it for? Surely alarm bells would be ringing.

          I do not buy the ignorance defense. There is just so much information around on the web nowadays and if you need a needle you know it is dodgy.

          Now if the AFL comes around and says all this is fine, then they have serious problems. Anything other than food should be illegal. There needs be a line.

          • Roar Guru

            February 6th 2013 @ 12:00pm
            Redb said | February 6th 2013 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

            Athletes have been taking supplements for decades to assit with a range of biological issues. WADA even allows athletes to increase testerone levels 4 times higher than normal due to depletion.

            It’s a fact of an athletes life.

          • February 6th 2013 @ 12:05pm
            Australian Rules said | February 6th 2013 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

            Bunny, the use of needles alarms me too, but unless you’re an accredited sports scientist and understand the processes & methodologies, your comment “Anything other than food should be illegal” sounds a bit silly.

            • February 6th 2013 @ 4:47pm
              Ian Whitchurch said | February 6th 2013 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

              Thats actually a major part of the problem.

              What is an “accredited sports scientist”. Accredited by whom ? According to what standard ?

              • February 6th 2013 @ 7:16pm
                Saucepan said | February 6th 2013 @ 7:16pm | ! Report

                I’d say being an accredited sports scientist would entail having a degree in Sports science but beyond that is a mystery to me.

              • February 7th 2013 @ 11:32am
                Nick Inatey said | February 7th 2013 @ 11:32am | ! Report

                I’m certain that there would be an industry body out there, sanctioned and authorised by the government to be the accreditors of people. Much like the APA for psychologists, or the AMA for doctors.

          • February 6th 2013 @ 5:18pm
            Micheal said | February 6th 2013 @ 5:18pm | ! Report

            It puzzles me how people her the word injection or needle and they instantly cringe, medically speaking, an injection the most efficiant and cleanest way to administer anything into the body (legal or not) think about it, how do you get immunised?

            Doctors inject patients all the time, why? not because they are junkies, but because it’s the best way.

          • February 6th 2013 @ 9:37pm
            dasilva said | February 6th 2013 @ 9:37pm | ! Report

            Peptides are essentially proteins (proteins are a multiple large chains of amino acids, peptides are a small chain)

            What would happen when you eat protein? You digest the food and break down to amino acids and that is absorbed in the body and which case destroy the peptides (although your body will used those amino acids to create protein and muscles in the body if you’re fit).

            So basically all peptide medicine has to be injected or it will be destroyed by your gastrointestinal system (that’s why certain vaccines are injected as some of them are peptide vaccines)

            So the fact that they had to be injected doesn’t necessary prove guilt. It has to be certain banned peptide such as certain growth hormones, corticotrophin etc.

            although I’m pretty curious why would a club inject peptides that wasn’t PED in the body?

    • February 6th 2013 @ 10:43am
      Peter Care said | February 6th 2013 @ 10:43am | ! Report

      That’s what the East German athetes said when the sports doctors handed them the cocktail of multi-coloured pills to take. All players are educated that if they don’t know whats in something they contact WADA to find out. It’s part of your job of being a professional athlete to check everything. Shane Warne got a one year ban because he trusted his mother, and if you can’t trust your mother who can you trust? He should have checked before he popped the diet pill. Players and their clubs cannot abrogate responsibility if it turns out to be some of the substances are illegal. They all have WADA’s number and can easilly check. However, having said all that, I suspect this will end up being a storm in a tea-cup with the peptides proving to be a) legal and b) ineffective.

      • Roar Guru

        February 6th 2013 @ 11:16am
        Redb said | February 6th 2013 @ 11:16am | ! Report

        Yes they should and players do get well educated on WADA as Stephen Milne said on SEN radio this morning.

    • February 6th 2013 @ 11:48am
      Ian Whitchurch said | February 6th 2013 @ 11:48am | ! Report

      The other shoe to drop is the role of the actual Essendon medical staff in all this.

      Demetriou is already grumpy about the influence of the “phys-edders” and their alleged over-ruling of club medical staff.

      If medical staff were kept out of the loop, and Dank and Robinson were making medical decisions, then I can see OHS issues cropping up very, very easily.

      • Roar Guru

        February 6th 2013 @ 12:01pm
        Redb said | February 6th 2013 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

        Yep it appears Doc Reid Essendon’s long time club doctor was asking questions last year about some of the supplements and as you sauy was kept out of the loop. Much of this is likely to come out of the ASADA investigation.

        Sports science has taken too much control over the players as the game keeps pushing the limits of endurance.

        • February 6th 2013 @ 12:12pm
          Nathan of Perth said | February 6th 2013 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

          Medical profession will no doubt welcome a return to control.

          After the last twenty-four hours, I’d say most fans would agree.

          • Roar Guru

            February 6th 2013 @ 12:35pm
            Redb said | February 6th 2013 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

            Club Doctors should be given audit rights to oversee any supplements. It goes without saying the WADA banned list should be monitored on a weekly basis.

            • February 6th 2013 @ 12:51pm
              Nathan of Perth said | February 6th 2013 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

              Particularly given the ramifications of getting it wrong…

              • Roar Guru

                February 6th 2013 @ 1:45pm
                Redb said | February 6th 2013 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

                It is still appalling management from Essendon. Checks and balances overlooked for expediency? God I hope not.

              • February 6th 2013 @ 2:12pm
                Ian Whitchurch said | February 6th 2013 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

                “Club doctor” is part of the problem.

                As a clubman, you want a premiership.

                As medical staff, you have a have a duty of care to the players.

                Personally, I think the AFL needs to fix this.

              • Roar Guru

                February 6th 2013 @ 2:28pm
                Redb said | February 6th 2013 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

                I don’t think club doctors are the issue. They appear to be have been sidelined by the sports science people who act in their own right and everyone from the coach down tows the line becuase its science beyond most people’s understanding.

                That has to change.

              • February 7th 2013 @ 12:21am
                Jack said | February 7th 2013 @ 12:21am | ! Report

                Yes it does have to change Red

    • February 6th 2013 @ 12:32pm
      Geelong Supporter said | February 6th 2013 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

      I’m worried about my club, does this mean that while some of these men were at Geelong were they doing the same things.
      And does that mean we got our premierships unfairly? Why doesn’t the AFL just come out and say. Ok these are the approved supplements and these are the only ones that can be used.

      • Roar Guru

        February 6th 2013 @ 1:39pm
        Redb said | February 6th 2013 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

        The frustrating part is that none of the players at Essendon or Geelong have failed PED drug tests. If these substances are illegal and if breached carry two year sentences why weren’t they caught in drug tests?

        The investigation is sure to widen and not just within the AFL. Rebecca Wilson told SEN listeners NRL clubs are also “at the edge” with supplements.

        • Roar Pro

          February 6th 2013 @ 10:30pm
          The High Shot said | February 6th 2013 @ 10:30pm | ! Report

          of course she did, that’s how she makes her money.

        • February 7th 2013 @ 12:30am
          Jack said | February 7th 2013 @ 12:30am | ! Report

          Either they’re not illegal or they were designed to pass tests eg masking, timing etc. The banned lists are not comprehensive enough because there are guys in labs designing hybrid after hybrid drugs that either keep levels within the guidelines, can be masked or flushed by the body in time to avoid detection. The drugs are light years ahead of the authorities eg Armstrong was taking EPO long before they could even test for it

    • February 6th 2013 @ 1:06pm
      Pot Stirrer said | February 6th 2013 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

      Where is the OH&S policy for sporting Clubs, Surley it would be against policy to have an “employee” take a substance that requires them to sign a waiver because the club doesnt know the side effects. . What happens to the player if he refuses ? . Personally i dont agree with athletes taking any form of supplement and think they should only be given Oxygen or gatorade to replenish them selves. I dont mind pain killers so much if the doctor determines no further damage can be done but as for the rest that these performance coaches or what ever they are bring to sports, I think wed be better of with out them. The what ever it takes slogan is good imo, if someone interperates into meaning something other than on field and training attitudes then i think we lose what being an elite athlete is all about.

      • Roar Guru

        February 6th 2013 @ 1:47pm
        Redb said | February 6th 2013 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

        It seems there has been a growing divide betwen tradtional medical assistance and sports science, dare I say performance science. The latter has clearly gotten out of control.

        The waivers remain the elephant in the room. What, why, how and importantly who knew?

        • February 6th 2013 @ 2:40pm
          Pot Stirrer said | February 6th 2013 @ 2:40pm | ! Report

          A little bit of responsibilty has to go to the players aswell i think. Sure they may feel pressured becuase they dont want to give away an advantage but where is the players association. Ud think someone would discuss with them about signing waivers ?

          • Roar Guru

            February 6th 2013 @ 3:00pm
            Redb said | February 6th 2013 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

            Need to know the content of the waivers. Just about any medical procedure usually involves one especially with injections. They maybe quite vanilla.

            • February 6th 2013 @ 3:51pm
              Pot Stirrer said | February 6th 2013 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

              When it comes to signing waivers i dont believe there is such a thing as a vanilla contract especially when there is unknown consequences to ones health. Othe wise a waiver wouldnt be necessary i would have thought. Like you said the waivers are definatley the Elephant in the room if not a wooly mammoth.

              • February 6th 2013 @ 4:05pm
                Ian Whitchurch said | February 6th 2013 @ 4:05pm | ! Report

                In any case, waivers are (a) legally worthless, and (b) leave a paper trail of who knew what when.

        • February 7th 2013 @ 12:31am
          Jack said | February 7th 2013 @ 12:31am | ! Report

          Everyone knew the waivers were signed according to today’s developments

    • Columnist

      February 6th 2013 @ 3:17pm
      Kate Smart said | February 6th 2013 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

      Some really good points have been made in the discussion, especially in regards to OH&S and employer responsibilities to their employees.

      We all know that in an ideal world, if players didn’t know what they were taking, then they should have investigated, but the problem with this argument is the phrase, ‘in an ideal world’. We don’t live in a perfect world and it is easy to see how the players would have put their trust in the people who you would think have their best interests at heart.

      What is really concerning in all of this is the role of ‘Sports Science’ and ‘Sports Scientists”. What/who is it really? Who regulates them, registers them and monitors them? Clearly, Essendon did not fulfil its duty of care to its players and like you Redb, I am a lifelong Bombers fan and am bewildered that this has occurred.

      • Roar Guru

        February 6th 2013 @ 3:43pm
        Redb said | February 6th 2013 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

        Thanks Kate, been a tough 24 hours hasn’t it.

        Mad sports science it should be called and it needs to be curtailed. The duty of care is interesting, the investigation will hopefully sort out who knew about the waivers and perhaps how much ‘work’ has been done by a select few.

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