Melbourne Demons the second club implicated in the drug probe.
The Melbourne Demons’ horror season could go from bad to worse after evidence has emerged of the club having close links with sport scientist Stephen Dank.
The disgraced medico is at the heart of an investigation by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) into performance enhancing drugs in various football codes.
Melbourne has previously denied ever hiring Dank, however, text messages between Dank and the team’s doctor Dan Bates suggest otherwise.
In the text messages, Dank and Bates are seen to be discussing the treatment regimen of players including captain Jack Trengrove, with substances mentioned previously banned under WADA rules.
AFL boss Andrew Demetriou said the competition would be having a briefing with the Demons and asking if the text messages and relationship with Dank is in fact true.
“As of this morning we will be calling in the doctor, the Melbourne Football Club doctor, together with any other relevant officials based on things we’d been told previously,” Demetriou said.
“There appears to be some inconsistencies.
“If there was an association, regardless of whether there has been an employment agreement, I think that would have been relevant to our briefings.”
In light of the allegations, Melbourne released a statement reiterating Dank had never treated any of its players but did admit, their club had been in contact with him.
“At no time was Dank able to directly treat players,” Melbourne said in its statement.
“Dank and Dr Bates communicated via email, phone and text, regarding supplements (prior to the ASADA investigation).
“Our processes require Dr Bates to consider the appropriateness of any treatment and make a determination as to its suitability at all times, to ensure that the welfare of our players is always maintained.”
The Demons have suffered a horror start to the AFL season and after three rounds they at fixed to the bottom of the ladder after massive losses to Port Adelaide, Essendon and West Coast totalling 321 points.