Shocking admission adds another layer of intrigue to ASADA drugs probe.
Stephen Dank, the sports scientist in the middle of ASADA’s probe into doping in Australian football, has made the shocking admission he offered Johnny Mannah peptides.
In response to claims made by News Limited newspapers, Dank denied he contributed to Mannah’s death from Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
However, after an excerpt from an independent report commissioned by Cronulla was published, Dank admitted he consulted “with oncologists about what effects peptides would have on his (Mannah’s) condition”.
Mannah died earlier this year from the disease after suffering a relapse, with the younger brother of Tim Mannah, playing five games for the Sharks while Dank was employed by the club.
Dank said he was aware of Mannah’s previous conditions and would not knowingly have put his life in danger.
“I’m outraged at the suggestion that I accelerated or contributed to his death,” Dank said.
“I was aware of what Jon’s condition was. I definitely did not put him in a position where he could be harmed.
“I checked with oncologists about what effects peptides would have on his condition. I was assured they were safe for him to use.
“Like all players, Jon was given full information about what he was doing and it was his decision whether or not to take part.
“What has been reported and implied today is horrifying and untrue. My lawyers will follow this up in the strongest possible way.”
However, information about the link, if any exists, between peptides and an increased rate of growth of cancer is still coming out.
Professor Robert Baxter, a leading cancer expert, said the use of peptides with a former cancer patient was “highly controversial” but said there was no strong evidence of increased risk of relapse or death.
Dank has previously pleaded his innocence, saying he has never undertaken the administrating of illegal drugs to any players in the NRL or AFL.