After a ruling by the AFL’s anti-doping tribunal in Melbourne, Stephen Dank, the sports scientist at the heart of the club’s controversial supplements program, could still face a life-time ban from the sport. Dank however managed to avoid the three crucial charges relating to the administration of banned peptide Thymosin Beta 4.
Dank has been fighting hard to save his career after the AFL and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority leveled several serious charges against him. The sports scientist was charged with alleged administration, attempted administration, and assistance of players in the use of banned substances.
Stephen Dank was found guilty of 10 charges by the tribunal, including the trafficking, attempting to traffic and complicity in matters related to prohibited substances Hexarelin, CJC-1295, GHRP-6, Humanofort - Insulin Growth Factor 1, Insulin Growth Factor 2, Mechano Growth Factor (MGF), Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF), Follistatin and Thymosin Beta 4, and SARMs. The AFL’s anti-doping tribunal however did not found enough evidence to charge Dank with the serious administration, or attempted administration charges with respect to Thymosin Beta 4.
The AFL anti-doping tribunal said it is comfortably satisfied that Dank violated clause 11.7 of the AFL Code by trafficking in, by selling, giving, transporting, sending, delivering and/or distributing, to a third party or parties who were customers of the Medical Rejuvenation Clinic, a prohibited substance of substances, including namely GHRP6 and Mechano Growth Factor, between November 2011 and September 2012. It also said the tribunal is comfortably satisfied that the controversial sports scientist violated clause 11.8 of the AFL Code by assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, covering up and/or other type of complicity in connection with trafficking in or attempted trafficking in, by selling, giving, transporting, sending, delivering and/or distributing to a third party or parties in the sport of baseball, one or more prohibited substances, namely Hexarelin, SARMS, CJC-1295 and GHRP6 between February 2012 and March 2012.
Dank was also found violating clause 11.7 of the AFL Code by trafficking in, by selling, giving, transporting, sending, delivering and/or distributing, to a Carlton Football Club support person, one or more prohibited substances, namely MGF, between about March 2012 and October 2012. The tribunal also found him violating clause 11.7 of the AFL Code by attempting to traffick in, by selling, giving, transporting, sending, delivering and/or distributing to a third party or parties, namely the Gold Coast Suns Football Club and support persons of the club, a prohibited substance, namely CJC-1295, in December 2010.
In a statement, AFL spokesman Andrew Dillon said the circumstances surrounding the case have been extremely difficult, given the amount of information and the number of parties involved, and the professionalism and diligence of the Tribunal has been greatly appreciated by the AFL. The AFL statement reads the tribunal has found that the former Essendon support person (Dank) has been found guilty of 10 breaches of the AFL anti-doping code and added the breaches include trafficking, attempting to traffic and complicity in matters related to a range of prohibited substances.