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World Anti-Doping Agency to appeal AFL anti-doping tribunal’s Essendon verdict

World Anti-Doping Agency to appeal AFL anti-doping tribunal’s Essendon verdict
May 12, 2015
Legal / Sport /

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced it will appeal the AFL anti-doping tribunal's not guilty verdict regarding 34 past and present Essendon players.

In March, the AFL tribal found the Essendon players not guilty of using banned substance thymosin beta-4, a decision which ASADA opted not to appeal.

However, WADA has now opted to take up its right of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The decision was confirmed in a statement from WADA Director General David Howman this morning (12th May), in which Howman explained “we have now completed our independent review of the full case file on the AFL Anti-Doping Appeals Tribunal decision regarding 34 current and former Essendon players.

"After a thorough examination of the evidence contained within the file, WADA has decided to lodge its independent right of appeal to the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"As with all pending cases, and adhering to the proper and normal respect for the integrity of the legal process, WADA will refrain from commenting further on the subject until a decision has been made by CAS."

Essendon officials including Chairman Paul Little and coach James Hird are apparently surprised by WADA's decision.

Little told Triple M radio “we were confident that it was such a unanimous decision out of the tribunal, and then of course ASADA decided there was insufficient evidence to appeal, and that gave us confidence that the WADA situation being, if you like, more remote, would be found in our favour.

"Our belief was unless there was new information of some sort based on what we knew and we now know, the basis for the not guilty finding by the tribunal in particular, that we'd be okay unless there's new evidence and at this point in time we don't know if there is.”

Little said the club was disappointed to discover the ongoing saga would be continued by WADA, but endeavoured to find a resolution as quickly as possible, adding "I think the immediate thought is that over the last week or so everyone involved has pretty much got their lives back, which has been an outcome that some have handled well and some probably not so well.

"Now it looks like we have to jump back on the horse and sort of get into the process again of defending our boys and our club."

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), which in April decided not to appeal the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal decision, has welcomed WADA's decision to appeal to the CAS..

ASADA Chief Executive Ben McDevitt had previously said he would support any WADA appeal in the knowledge that only they could bring the case to the Court.

Sports lawyer Paul Horvath, speaking on ABC TV News Breakfast on Tuesday morning, insisted the case against Essendon still contained "major flaws", and that WADA would still likely struggle to uncover the real truth of what went on at the club in 2012.

Horvath stated "(ASADA) didn't have a number of key witnesses attend the hearing, particularly Nima Alavi the compounding chemist, Shane Charter, who sourced the chemicals over in China and Stephen Dank who allegedly supplied and injected the chemicals into the players.

"They couldn't be compelled and my belief is that that will remain the case at this further appeal hearing, which is a major flaw in the case.

"The case is about whether or not there has been breaches of the AFL anti-doping code, and it's not so much about finding out the truth and this sort of thing.

"The court simply wants to know about this 'comfortable satisfaction' and not so much those sort of answers."

1st April 2015 - AFL ANTI-DOPING TRIBUNAL FINDS ESSENDON PLAYERS NOT GUILTY OF USING BANNED PEPTIDE 

20th May 2013 - AUSTRALIAN SPORT DOPING CHANGES INFLUENCING WADA

18th February 2013 - IOC CONFERENCE TO DISCUSS THE FUTURE OF WADA

7th February 2013 - DRUGS AND CRIME REPORT ROCKS AUSTRALIAN SPORT

19th January 2013 - 'SERIAL CHEAT' ARMSTRONG’S DOPING ADMISSIONS QUESTIONED BY WADA PRESIDENT FAHEY 

18th December 2012 - INTERNATIONAL SPORT FEDERATIONS GENERATE $2 BILLION IN SPONSORSHIP 


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