Melbourne is the second AFL club embroiled in the performance-enhancing drugs controversy after text messages between sports scientist Stephen Dank and club doctor Dan Bates emerged
Texts between Steve Dank and Dees club doctor Dan Bates have emerged. Source: The Daily Telegraph
MELBOURNE has been plunged into the drugs scandal engulfing Australian sport after allegations its players were treated under a regime designed by controversial sports scientist Stephen Dank.
The AFL demanded urgent answers from the Demons, who were locked in crisis talks.
A series of text messages reportedly between Dank and Melbourne club doctor Dan Bates showed the pair discussed treatments for players, including co-captain Jack Trengove.
The strife-torn Dees will almost certainly join Essendon as the subject of a probe by anti-doping agency ASADA.
"The AFL is urgently seeking a further explanation from Melbourne Football Club about the veracity of the claims and how they can be reconciled with previous statements from the club," the AFL said in a statement.
"The AFL was not previously aware of the claims broadcast by the ABC and these will form part of ongoing investigations by ASADA and the AFL.
"As part of its initial inquiries in February, the AFL approached the Melbourne Football Club to ascertain the club's involvement with Stephen Dank.
"Melbourne provided the AFL with an explanation; however, the matter has remained open as part of the AFL's broader investigation into Mr Dank's activities with AFL clubs."
The text, aired on ABC's 7.30, shows arrangements being made for injections for seven players in late January and discusses the use of substances including anti-obesity drug AOD-9604, which is not approved for human use, cerebrolysin and platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
The contact allegedly took place from the middle of last year until February 5, the day Essendon called a press conference to admit it had requested an investigation into its supplements program.
Dank said in one text he was meeting Melbourne director of sports performance Neil Craig.
One detailed exchange centred on Trengove.
"Should we consider AOD cream for Jack Trengove's navicular," Dank wrote.
"Yep," Bates is alleged to have replied, before telling Dank, Trengove could start the treatment the next day.
Dank told Bates that Trengove should meet him at "the pharmacy".
The detailed texts show Dank suggested Melbourne players be injected with PRP, a substance used to treat sporting injuries that was taken off the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list only in 2011.
Dank and Bates also discuss the use of substances including anti-obesity drug AOD-9604, which ASADA is considering banning, and Bates arranging for multiple players to be injected.
Bates allegedly wrote: "When can we book guys for the injections? We will need to give them times. Dan."
In the texts, Dank gave details of how the club could finance use of substances he prescribed.
"OK. I have a way to put the high performance unit as a R&D tax break. That would mean a fair chunk of money going back to the club." Earlier this year, the Demons denied any involvement with Dank.
- with Eliza Sewell
SOME OF THE ALLEGED TEXT MESSAGES
Dank to Bates: "Meeting with Neil Craig next Tuesday or Wednesday. Spoke to Dave today."
Bates to Dank: "Great."
Dank to Bates: "When we will start Jack Trengove on the AOD?"
Bates to Dank: "Tomorrow"
Bates to Dank: "Where can I get him to pick it up from?"
Dank to Bates: "The pharmacy. Tell him to ring me and he can meet me there."
Bates to Dank: "...Lynden Dunn would like an injection on Thursday if possible (good about Dunny asking, as he is doing it because the other guys have said they feel good). Dan."
Dank to Bates: "Great. I will book him in."