All Hell is Breaking Loose in Australian Sport

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The recent scandals of Manti Te’o, Biogenesis, and Lance Armstrong will seem like mere child’s play if the recent allegations out of Australia are all accurate. 

We American’s are no strangers to PED scandals, whether it is BALCO or the ongoing Biogenesis wellness clinic saga; sadly it has been all too common to hear of individual athletes and their linkage to performance enhancing drugs.

Likewise in Europe, a common, yet awful, plague is that of match-fixing, most notably in the game of Soccer.

The EU’s Law Enforcement agency, Europol, recently conducted a match-fixing investigation (which did include fixtures outside of Europe) which includes reports of fixing in the region’s most prestigious sporting event, The UEFA Champions League.

Then there is Australia, unsurprisingly they have their professional leagues, which include: The A-League (Soccer), AFL (Australian rules football), and NRL (Rugby), but what they havent had, historically speaking, is scandal.

Until now one of the most damning stories of match-fixing was Cricketer Shane Warne selling information regarding the weather for money to an Indian Bookkeeper.

The most shocking drug scandal until? The continued recreational drug usage of former Australian rules footballer, Ben Cousins.

Needless to say scandal in Australia has been few and far between, that is until the Australian Crime Commission recently reported their findings of a 12-month investigation to the public.

What exactly did they find?

These are a few of the damning allegations that have lead to “The Darkest Day in Australian Sport“.

Multiple athletes, in multiple sports, in multiple codes (leagues) are cheating. 

Jason Clare, the Justice Minister of the ACC in his presentation of the findings had this to say.

“Multiple athletes from a number of clubs in major Australian sporting codes are suspected of currently using or having previously used peptides, potentially constituting anti-doping rule violations. Officials from clubs have also been identified as administering, via injections and intravenous drips, a variety of substances.”

Now that being said, Clare acknowledged that this was not the majority of Australian athletes, rather that the allegations stem over a wide area of Australian sport.

The report alludes to crime syndicates infiltrating Australia and exploiting the world of sport, via PED trafficking and match-fixing.

Criminals are helping athletes become criminals… while not breaking the law themselves…

Confusing I know, but basically Organized crime syndicates are selling PEDs such as peptides to coaches and support staff to be used on athletes.

It doesn’t take a genius to recognize the reason why a crime syndicate would want to be involved in this.

However, they may want a genius, or at least someone with a bit of common sense, to revise legislation once this is over.

If this sounds stupid, don’t worry it really is that stupid.

Apparently under current Australian legislation, crime organizations cannot be sanctioned for PED-trafficking, that falls directly on the athlete who has taken them. So yes, they can supply drugs that are illegal in sport, and get away with it.

Human Guinea Pigs 

One of the more strange findings from the 45-page report was the use of peptides that haven’t been approved for human use.

Which include:

Cerebrolysin: a peptide extract from pig brain which is used to treat Alzheimer’s and stroke victims. It is said to improve cognitive and behavioural performance by enhancing the function of neurons.

Actovegin: A filtered extract from amino-rich calf blood which leads to improved absorption of glucose and oxygen in tissue. It may enhance physical performance and stamina.

(source Yahoo!)

Why are these being used, well besides their benefits they are pretty difficult to detect, as former Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority head Richard Inge puts it:

“These are very serious performance enhancing drugs and at the moment they’re very hard to detect through testing so at the moment the only way to determine that athletes are using them is through coercive powers,”

 At least one entire team is accused of doing drugs…

The most shocking and devastating allegation is that of the team-wide drug usage by the AFL’s Essendon Football Club in 2012.

The usage was allegedly not voluntary either. Allegedly those who objected were told that the drug injections fell under team team policy and was an experiment within the legality of the ASADA.

What should have set alarm bells off, however, is the fact that players we’re taken off-site to have the injections delivered.

In a press conference on Wednesday, former Essendon captain, and now Essendon coach James Hird invited the investigation from ASADA and the league, after allegedly not even knowing what was going on.

The ringleader of Essendon’s alleged usage is Stephen Dank, club sport scientist, who has links with other teams in other codes- all of whom are now being investigated.

While there has been plenty of hearsay on the issue, and nothing set in stone, one can still find humor in the teams 2013 tagline “Whatever it takes“.

And finally, matches are probably being fixed too..

Now this is where this tale becomes even more odd, is that while these crime syndicates, who were helping athlete’s improve their performance through doping they may also have persuaded the same athletes to fix matches. Clare had this to say about the issue:

“This particularly serious link between organised crime and players exposes players to the risk of being coopted for match fixing and this investigation identified one possible example of that and that is currently under investigation.”

While there has been no specifics on which team, sport, or league is involved in the fixing. There have been notions that it involves the A-League.

“Reports circulated yesterday that a game played in Melbourne late last year had come under suspicion following revelations that as much as $40 million was regularly invested with both legal and illegal Asian betting agencies on a single A-League match.”

 

As you can tell all that is certain at this point is speculation, but as the picture becomes clear be sure to visit TheFarmClub for more details.

 

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