President John Fahey says AFL is responding much better than rugby league.
WORLD Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey has hit out at the NRL’s handling of the ASADA probe into their sport saying the code is burying its head in the sand.
The stinging attack comes in the wake of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority’s (ASADA) interviews with Cronulla Sharks players being postponed, after lawyers on both sides failed to agree on the line of questioning towards Wade Graham.
ASADA launched its anti-drug probe into the NRL in February and with the season entering its ninth week with no forward movement, Fahey hit out.
“There’s been a profound silence from rugby league in the wake of what followed,” Fahey said.
“Information has been given to ASADA by the ACC (Australian Crime Commission) but it must make its own enquiries.
“It sought cooperation from rugby league and from what I can see from the first interview the lawyers there prevented any answers being given.
“So much so, it seems little point in ASADA continuing.
“But the information is not going to go away and it means it will drag on much longer.”
In contrast the AFL and the Essendon Bombers have been praised by Fahey for openly addressing there was an serious lack of communication within the club, leading to possible more sinister elements.
The Switkowski report, which was released this week, ran alongside the ASADA probe into the club practices and took an independent look at the dealings within Essendon in the past two years.
Key points of the report included, the club failed in its duty of management and governance and lost control of the football department.
That the Bombers marginalised medical staff in favour of an unchecked high performance unit and allowed a new weights regimen to mushroom into a program of “exotic supplements” and frequent injections at off-site facilities while also using an unfamiliar suppliers of drugs.
While Switkowski did not answer the question if the players took or were given illegal drugs, it was never designed to.
Instead it shone a light on the managerial practices at the club as not being up to the standard expected, which is more than the NRL has done according to Fahey, who said the AFL’s proactive nature was “a breath of fresh air” compared to the NRL.
However, the NRL released a statement hitting back at Fahey’s claims.
“The seriousness of the matters announced by the ACC has always demanded an ASADA investigation and that is the authority that we support absolutely in this process,” it read.
“We are ready to act once ASADA can provide information which would substantiate an infraction notice and they are aware of that fact.
“Our position all along has been that the investigation must be as thorough as the legal process will allow and we continue to assist ASADA just as we have from the outset.”