Bodybuilder and biochemist says he helped players dodge blood tests and remain hidden.
Convicted drug trafficker and biochemist Shane Charter has made the explosive claims he helped professional footballers in Australia cheat drug tests.
The shocking admission came on ABC TV’s 4 Corners program, where Charter was asked point-blank if he has helped current or past players dodge blood tests currently used to expose cheats.
“I’ve kept them in a safe and non-toxic range so that they didn’t do long-term damage to themselves,” Charter said.
If proven to be true, Charter’s claims will only heighten the call for biological passports for all players in order to stamp out systematic doping.
Charter also said athletes would pull out of games citing injury if blood tests conducted beforehand would return a positive test.
“If they (test results) came back and they weren’t passing the test, then depending on the product and the timeline up to the event, that athlete may pull a hamstring and not go to that event,” he said.
“There’s a difference between being shown positive and using performance-enhancing drugs, and that’s the issue I’m trying to bring to light.”
Charter is certain to become another important piece in the performance-enhancing drug puzzle currently under examination by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).
Already players from the Cronulla Sharks NRL side have been interviewed about their knowledge of supplement programs that have been undertaken at the club during recent years.
Essendon in the AFL has also had the spotlight thrown on it in the last fortnight, after text messages allegedly revealed coach James Hird knew of the illegal nature of their supplement program.
In ASADA’s investigation, sports scientist Stephen Dank has become a key player in possibly lifting the lid on the illegal practices which are alleged to be rife across the country.
Dank said he has had no contact with Charter, who countered this week by saying he has 18 months worth of correspondents between the two.
Charter was convicted in 2004 of bringing millions of dollars worth of pseudoephedrine into Australia and he also has links with a bikie-affiliated contact in the powerlifting industry, who introduced him to performance-enhancing drugs and organised crime in both Australia and Asia.
Charter is also a long-time friend of Essendon coach James Hird, and said he believed the Bombers leader had not taken anything illegal during or after his playing career.