ASADA’s Deal With The AFL Means All Bets Are Off

The Australian Sports Anti Doping Authority is alleged to have worked out a deal with the AFL to minimise the impact of the current investigation into the systematic doping of players at the Essendon AFL club according to the Sydney Daily Telegraph.

This revelation brings into question the integrity of what is supposed to be an independent body that’s entire existence is to find and prosecute drug cheats in sport.

ASADA is a government agency. It is funded by tax payers and reports to the Federal Minister for Sport. ASADA is meant to be impartial. It’s role is to find drug cheats in sport and use all of it’s powers to make sure they are banned from their respective sport.

On ASADA’s on web site the agency states:

“ASADA’s mission is to protect Australia’s sporting integrity through the elimination of doping.”

How can ASADA protect the integrity of sport and eliminate doping when it is undermining it’s own investigation by looking for the softest possible outcome for drug cheats?

How can ASADA possibly suggest that it is trying to eliminate doping in sport when it finds alleged systematic doping and goes out of it’s way to to find loopholes so that players, coaches and a club can avoid the harshest of penalties?

For ASADA to allegedly be doing deals with the AFL to find ways to let players, coaches and a club off as lightly as possible goes against everything ASADA is supposed to stand for. It is a disgrace.

Questions must now be asked as to why ASADA has chosen to give favourable treatment to the AFL over every other sport in Australia. What is the motivation behind this decision? Who made the decision to give one sport favourable treatment over all others?

I believe the current ASADA investigation needs to be out on hold and an independent enquiry held into why ASADA is making deals behind closed doors.

How can any sport in Australia possibly trust the independence and integrity of ASADA now that we know they are willing to make deals with some sports over others?

I believe it is now time that the NRL stepped in and provided the Cronulla Sharks with full legal support in the face of ASADA. I can completely understand that the NRL has been willing to stand back and allow the ASADA investigation take its course, as every sporting organisation should, but in the face of this new evidence every sport in Australia needs to circle the wagons and protect it’s interests in the fact of an organisation that I don’t believe can be trusted any more.

If ASADA is willing to give favourable treatment to one sport, who is to say they are not willing to go out of their way to come up with the worst possible outcome for another.

Throughout this entire drug in sport saga I have been willing to give ASADA the benefit of the doubt. I trusted their impartiality. I put faith in their integrity.

As someone that has always taken an extremely tough stance against drugs in sports, I wanted to see ASADA find any drug cheats it could and ban them. If Rugby League had a problem with drugs, I wanted ASADA to uncover it so that the sport could confront it’s daemons and clean up it’s act.

Now, all bets are off. Rugby League needs to protects itself, as all other sports in Australia should now be doing, in the face of what is possibly a anti doping agency that is possibly holding an agenda.

As for the AFL, the culture of coverup is alive and well. With a media pack that is willing to swallow the PR spin pumped out from “AFL House” in Melbourne, the AFL does not face the same scrutiny that most other sports in the country face.

Even now I am sure we will see the AFL media types going into damage control. Fingers will get pointed elsewhere, the AFL, it’s players and it’s clubs will never be held up to the same standards other sports are.

Had the Cronulla Sharks not been involved in this investigation, who knows how much we would have found out about this whole drugs in sports saga. Keep in mind that it is the Sydney media that keeps breaking stories about what is happening in this ASADA investigation. They are the ones looking into things, following up leaks and stories. They are the ones applying scrutiny to this entire process.

It makes you wonder, if the Sharks had not been involved in “The darkest day in Australian sport”, would we have ever heard bout any of this?

Last but not least, ASADA…

ASADA did not detect a single positive drugs test by anyone at the Essendon AFL club or the Cronulla Sharks NRL club. Despite all of the evidence that has come out and months of investigations that have been going on, we are no closer to seeing anyone banned from any alleged offences.

Now we are seeing the integrity of ASADA coming into question. It makes me wonder if our nations anti doping authority is anywhere near capable of doing its job.

If ADASA is having all of these issues across two sports, two high profile clubs, all the media scrutiny, all the evidence….how much chance do they have against the drug cheats that are really clever? They ones that known when to cycle on and off of their selected performance enhancing drug? What chance do they have of catching the drug cheats that have refined their drug use regime?

I have zero faith in ASADA any more. Our politicians who were so quick to stand alongside ASADA and condemn sport in this country should focus their attention back on ASADA. Yet another government agency that seems incapable of doing its job…

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