Alan Hird On WADA

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Ronny Rotten
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Alan Hird On WADA

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Lets get these bastards...

Allan Hird: WADA inquiry needed in light of Essendon drug scandal

Allan Hird, Herald Sun
an hour ago

BRITAIN’S House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee has established an inquiry, Combatting Doping in Sport, into WADA and the UK anti-doping authority. Olivier Niggli, WADA Director General, flew to London from Montreal to give evidence.

Niggli was asked about how WADA handled Russia’s doping program and the potential misuse of Therapeutic Use Exemptions by cyclists and other athletes.

Our parliament has difficulty getting Ben McDevitt, the outgoing ASADA CEO, to travel the five kilometres from Fyshwick to Parliament House.

If it’s good enough for the UK to have a hard look at the WADA anti-doping architecture, it’s good enough for our Parliament.

WADA made two statements to the UK committee that highlight why we should have misgivings about how the 34 Essendon players were treated. The first was: “ ... WADA does not believe doping needs to be made a criminal offence for athletes.”

If the 34 Essendon players had been charged under the Australian criminal system, they would have been exonerated. The AFL tribunal that investigated them comprised two judges and a QC and applied Australian legal principles. The tribunal threw out the ASADA case because of lack of evidence. The players were found to have no case to answer.

Having failed in its case against the players, ASADA didn’t appeal to another Australian tribunal because any appeal would have been held under Australian legal principles and ASADA knew it would lose. Instead it gave WADA $US100,000 and ASADA lawyers to try the players afresh in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

CAS doesn’t apply Australian law as it relates to evidence or proof. In my view WADA manipulated the “comfortable satisfaction” standard of proof used in anti-doping cases. It did not have to produce evidence, as defined by the Australian legal system, but merely present information rejected by the AFL tribunal.

Anyone familiar with the Essendon case knows the CAS process works for the prosecutor when it should work for justice.

CAS could never have found the players guilty under Australian law, as WADA and ASADA know. That is why they sidestepped an appeal in Australia and went to CAS where the cards were stacked against the players.

WADA would run a mile from making doping by athletes a criminal offence. If it was, WADA would have to present evidence that a player took a banned substance and have that evidence tested. Further, cases would not be determined by CAS, part of the WADA/IOC set up, but in independent courts.

WADA’s second curious statement to the UK committee was: “WADA does, however, strongly encourage governments to introduce laws that penalise … individuals … putting banned substances into the hands of athletes.”

Yet in the case of Steven Dank, WADA has been completely inactive.

While CAS found the players took a banned substance, thymosin beta4, it hasn’t convicted Dank with supplying or administering TB4. Why? WADA did not bring charges against Dank despite the WADA case against the players being built around him supplying and administering TB4.

WADA did not bring charges against Stephen Dank despite the WADA case against the players being built around him supplying and administering TB4. Picture: Jonathan Ng
The AFL Tribunal found there was no evidence Dank supplied and administered TB4 to the players. ASADA did not appeal, WADA did not charge Dank at CAS and consequently, under the WADA architecture, Dank is not guilty of supplying or administering TB4 to the players.

Yet the WADA case against the players, which CAS accepted, was built on the argument Dank did supply and administer TB4. This is a nonsense. WADA said Dank gave the players TB4, CAS accepted he did but under the WADA anti-doping architecture, Dank is innocent. Explain how that works.

Why does WADA say it wants to go hard on people supplying banned substances to athletes when it does nothing to prosecute people it believes to have done so? For WADA to be credible, what it says has to match what it does.

Which gets back to the question: why are British MPs examining the anti-doping system in sport and our parliament is sitting on its hands?

It’s time for our politicians to act. After all, Australian athletes have rights, or they should, and the public needs to have confidence in the taxpayer-funded ASADA.

Allan Hird is a former Essendon player and father of Essendon great James Hird. ... um=Twitter
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