AFL silence on Watson 'disturbing', says Malthouse

 
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Mick Malthouse has slammed the AFL over its silence since Jobe Watson's stunning admission that he had taken a banned substance, saying the league needed to "stand up and show real leadership".

This is a time when people from the AFL have to stand up and show real leadership, not let the back pages hang out there and murder a player from Essendon or Essendon themselves.

The three-time premiership coach said it was both "disappointing" and "disturbing" nobody from the AFL had made a public comment since the reigning Brownlow Medallist's revelations on Monday night.

Watson shocked the football community and his own club when he told Fox Footy's On The Couch program that he had been administered a substance he believed to be AOD-9604, an anti-obesity drug which is which is not approved for human use and banned by the Wold Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

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"We've heard from Essendon, we've heard from a lot of football clubs but interestingly enough the one massive surprise in my book is we haven't heard from the AFL at all," Malthouse said.

"I find that disappointing, disturbing.

"This is a time when people from the AFL have to stand up and show real leadership, not let the back pages hang out there and murder a player from Essendon or Essendon themselves. Let's get some clarity on issues."

AFL boss Andrew Demetriou had been on the front foot hitting the airwaves when the drugs scandal first rocked Australian sport in February but is yet to respond to the latest development.

Watson's comments have thrust the issue back into the public spotlight and re-focused attention on the futures of key Essendon staff, such as coach James Hird and long-time club doctor Bruce Reid.

There is also widespread debate whether Watson should be allowed to retain the Brownlow Medal, the AFL's highest individual honour, he won last year.

"The governance of the game is the AFL Commission and they endorse an administration to act on their behalf," Malthouse said.

"One would suspect that we're all waiting to find out exactly what the AFL are thinking at this stage, which is a direct reflection of the Commission.

"I haven't read anything, heard anything or seen anything so that covers most of the media with any reference at all to the AFL or its Commission.

"I think we need a leading light in the area. It can't be left to the media's opinion.

"Watson's statement that has left the football world thinking what is going to happen."

Read more: [color=#003399]http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/afl-silence-on-watson-disturbing-says-malthouse-20130627-2oyz9.html#ixzz2XO8vpFmr[/color]

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  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
The first thing that needs to happen is for Watson to be stripped of the 2012 Brownlow Medal.  The Brownlow is awarded to the "fairest and best" player. Note, "fairest" comes first.
Whether he intended unfairness or not, the fact is that playing haven taken performance enhancing drugs is unfair.

Next - the AFL should suspend him - he's admitted to using a banned substance.

James Hird is going on about what a man of integrity Watson is ( and I don't dispute that ), and that he acted on the best advice etc blah blah.
Sam Newman raved brainlessly as usual about what do you do when doctors, respected sports scientists ( respected by whom ?) managers et al all tell you to take the drug.

None of the above matters a tinkers cuss.

WADA's rules are quite clear. You take a banned substance; you're gone.  It doesn't matter if it was recommended by the Tooth Fairy or The Pope.
Hird, Newman et al need to ask the one question that matters - where was WADA's approval?

Ian Robson quit his post at Essendon saying, "I didn't know about it, and I should have."  He's the only Essendon official to have behaved with honour.
Either Hird knew, which makes him complicit, or he didn't know and should have. He has no way out. He's on 4 million for 4 years; the senior coach . . . he doesn't have to do everything, but he has to know everything.
Thompson, who brought the "scientists" to the club should be fired now.
Dr Bruce Reid, veteran club doctor; what of him? He claims to have written to the Board querying the drug procedure, and to have received no answer. What sort of follow-up did he do?

This is the AFL's chance to show that the League is serious about drugs. The longer that Demetriou and Co sit on their hands, the less credibility they have.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
The guy did drugs.
There's no two ways of looking at it.
He signed a consent form to agree to have the illegal drug administered to him.

His Brownlow should be stripped from him, and he should be immediately suspended for a very long time.
He deserves nothing less.

I cannot stand people who try and cheat the system.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
The whole affair is embarrassing for the AFL, and I suspect they do not know yet how to deal with this. And I agree with the previous posters comments.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
fact is that playing haven taken performance enhancing drugs is unfair.
Valvegear
The performance enhancement is yet to be established in fact.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Dream on, Aaron.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Dream on, Aaron.
"Valvegear"

I am not dreaming, WADA may be though! AOD 9604 might well be on their banned list (it's actually not), but more importantly it is on the list of drugs not approved for human use. This is one of the reasons it doesn't have a fancy name yet... There's no need to generate a market name for a drug which still may not make it to market.

Why is it not approved? AOD 9604 failed in the second and third phases of the testing for approval when it produced no efficacy gain over the chemically blank placebo issued in the double blind. If this goes to a court of sporting arbitration or similar and they allege he gained some unnatural benefit or improvement to performance from taking it they WILL be laughed at.
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
And Warnie's diuretic was performance enhancing?   He was banned for 2 years.   Watson should be the same + stripped of the Brownlow.   Essendon should lose points from last year - give them the wooden spoon.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
And Warnie's diuretic was performance enhancing?   He was banned for 2 years.   Watson should be the same + stripped of the Brownlow.   Essendon should lose points from last year - give them the wooden spoon.
"Donald"

Warnie's diuretic was a banned masking agent. It was thought to be used to increase the body's ability to pass detectable and banned performance enhancers.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
WADA dreaming ?  You have to be joking.
Keep looking for the legal loophole Aaron, as all good lawyers are trained to do, but I don't think it's going to appear.
We have an admission, made publicly, under no duress whatsoever, and nobody has contradicted it.
WADA says it's banned means it's banned.

And, just in case I am accused of bias, I have been an Essendon supporter for 65 years.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
I suspect the main reason the AFL has been silent is because the boss is on holidays.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I suspect the main reason the AFL has been silent is because the boss is on holidays.
TheBlacksmith

What is the COO doing about it? I can't think of another sport where a player who has admitted to taking performance enhancing drugs is allowed to play on as if nothing has happened.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
What is the COO doing about it? I can't think of another sport where a player who has admitted to taking performance enhancing drugs is allowed to play on as if nothing has happened.
bevans

Agreed. It is a pretty piss poor situation that is being allowed to continue.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
It's about the usual activity level shown by the AFL - at least that's consistent.
Demetriou et al are probably on a desperate hunt for a bolt hole.
  Camster Chief Commissioner

Location: Geelong
I can imagine how badly a Footscray player or a St. Kilda player would have been punished already if it had been them that did it. Sorry, and no offence to any of my fellow Railpagers that barrack for the Bombers, but the Bombers are too popular to be punished. The AFL needs Essendon back up the top.
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
I can imagine how badly a Footscray player or a St. Kilda player would have been punished already if it had been them that did it. Sorry, and no offence to any of my fellow Railpagers that barrack for the Bombers, but the Bombers are too popular to be punished. The AFL needs Essendon back up the top.
Camster

Speaking as a 'dogs fan, we can't be on performance enhancers- we lost to Melbourne last weekend! Rolling Eyes

In any case, it seems rather convenient for Demetriou to be on holidays when Watson admitted to it...
  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
I suspect the deafening silence is because once a course of action is decided, it can’t easily be done - and the AFL would want to ensure they get it right. The delicate part is the sheer number of players involved in the wider investigation. If all players were suspended, you could potentially wipe the club out for a year or so in the process unlike a Ben Cousins scenario where just 1 player was implicated. It would be a massive impact to the AFL (and other innocent clubs) if at worst case Essendon did have to sit out a season or two. A bye would be created each week meaning 1 fewer game (less gate receipts), sponsors would be demanding a better deal with reduced coverage and the impact of TV rights would be huge. Networks have forked out huge sums of money for the broadcast rights to 9 games per weekend and would be demanding large re-imbursement from the AFL if there were only 8 games each weekend.



It’s more than likely these type of reasons that the AFL want to consider before rapidly jumping into punishments. Although by the same token, they’re doing as much damage by taking too long considering what to do.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I suspect the deafening silence is because once a course of action is decided, it can’t easily be done - and the AFL would want to ensure they get it right. The delicate part is the sheer number of players involved in the wider investigation. If all players were suspended, you could potentially wipe the club out for a year or so in the process unlike a Ben Cousins scenario where just 1 player was implicated. It would be a massive impact to the AFL (and other innocent clubs) if at worst case Essendon did have to sit out a season or two. A bye would be created each week meaning 1 fewer game (less gate receipts), sponsors would be demanding a better deal with reduced coverage and the impact of TV rights would be huge. Networks have forked out huge sums of money for the broadcast rights to 9 games per weekend and would be demanding large re-imbursement from the AFL if there were only 8 games each weekend.



It’s more than likely these type of reasons that the AFL want to consider before rapidly jumping into punishments. Although by the same token, they’re doing as much damage by taking too long considering what to do.
"Ballast_Plough"

Creating byes? We already have byes... What difference would that make?
  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
The current byes are really split rounds and only occur in a few rounds. A true bye that I'm inferring is due to an odd number of teams in the draw causing 1 team to sit out each week. This would result in 8 matches each week instead of 9.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Where are the priorities?
Cleaning up the sport or satisfying the great gods of TV and money?
  Camster Chief Commissioner

Location: Geelong
Speaking as a 'dogs fan, we can't be on performance enhancers- we lost to Melbourne last weekend! Rolling Eyes

In any case, it seems rather convenient for Demetriou to be on holidays when Watson admitted to it...
Greensleeves

My saints are pretty bad this year, I don't think they are on substances either.Laughing
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Essendon Chairman David Evans is on the news this morning saying that Essendon has "expert opinion" that AOD 9604 is "not a performance enhancing drug."
He also keeps referring to ASADA, when it's WADA that is running the show.
He can have all the expert opinion he likes, and none of it means anything.
If WADA says it's banned, then it's banned . . . end of story.

Then, in the same bulletin, there is strong evidence that Thymosin Beta 4 was used, and that definitely is performance enhancing.  
It is a peptide that is completely banned (under the S2 list rather then the catch all S0 list).

Evans should shut his trap. He digs a deeper hole every time he comments.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Essendon Chairman David Evans is on the news this morning saying that Essendon has "expert opinion" that AOD 9604 is "not a performance enhancing drug."
He also keeps referring to ASADA, when it's WADA that is running the show.
He can have all the expert opinion he likes, and none of it means anything.
If WADA says it's banned, then it's banned . . . end of story.

Then, in the same bulletin, there is strong evidence that Thymosin Beta 4 was used, and that definitely is performance enhancing.  
It is a peptide that is completely banned (under the S2 list rather then the catch all S0 list).

Evans should shut his trap. He digs a deeper hole every time he comments.
"Valvegear"

I'll reiterate what I stated in my opening post in this thread, Essendon are now all but in the clear.

Expert opinion that AOD9604 is not performance enhancing, wow, now where has that been mentioned before? Possession of documentation from ASADA (the ONLY anti doping agency with jurisdiction in Australia) stating the substance was not banned. That's just about QED.

WADA DOES NOT 'RUN THE SHOW'! WADA have no jurisdiction in a local competition the only input they have aside from testing procedure and expertise is that they maintain a list of banned substances (caffeine is one on the list) which ASADA use to test against. AOD9604 DOES NOT exist on the WADA banned list, (look it up for yourself) this substance falls foul of the WADA 'rules' ONLY because it's not approved for prescription.

At the end of the day, when the regulator of the industry WITH jurisdiction provides you with a written documentation providing no concern with use then there is little that can be done after the fact. That's a fairly basic principle of law and it sees Essendon in the clear.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
WADA DOES NOT 'RUN THE SHOW'! WADA have no jurisdiction in a local competition the only input they have aside from testing procedure and expertise is that they maintain a list of banned substances (caffeine is one on the list) which ASADA use to test against. AOD9604 DOES NOT exist on the WADA banned list, (look it up for yourself) this substance falls foul of the WADA 'rules' ONLY because it's not approved for prescription.
"Aaron"


Aaron, dear boy - ASADA operates the rules of WADA.  Please don't go nit-picking.
AOD 9604 was on the catch-all S0 list.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Aaron, dear boy - ASADA operates the rules of WADA.  Please don't go nit-picking.
AOD 9604 was on the catch-all S0 list.
"Valvegear"

ASADA follows WADA's lists and borrows technical expertise on testing. WADA has no jurisdiction here, this is not a nitpick, and when the regulator WITH jurisdiction provides a document APPROVING a substance's use they can hardly have a retrospective at trying to run up charges.

This is a legal QED moment and Essendon right about now will be making plans for the rest of the minor rounds and making plans for the major rounds. Watson can renew the lease on the safe deposit box he keeps the Brownlow in.

ASADA have blown it, which comes as no surprise to anyone to who watched (with jaws dropped at the craziness of the statements) the combined ASADA and ACC February 7 press conference.

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