Veteran Andrew Embley says he is confident West Coast will not attract attention in the wake of the Australian Crime Commission’s report into sports integrity after taking major steps to address the behaviour of the playing group over the past five years.
The Eagles were en route to Northam for a community camp this morning when details of the year-long investigation were announced.
The report identified wide-spread use of banned substances including peptides, hormones and illicit drugs across top-flight Australian sport.
It came just days after the AFL and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Association launched an investigation into the Essendon Football Club’s use of questionable supplements in season 2012.
The Eagles have previously been the subject of speculation about illicit drug use following the 12 month suspension of former captain Ben Cousins in 2007 for bringing the game into disrepute.
Speaking in Northam this morning, Embley said the club had made strong changes following the Cousins saga and he was confident they wouldn’t risk that progress by meddling with performance enhancing drugs.
“We’ve got full trust in our sports science department,” Embley said.
“We feel like we’re a very ethical club and we don’t believe our football club would ever put any of our players in a position that could potentially jeopardise our playing futures or our careers.
“I’m really surprised, probably as much as everyone else, that this has surfaced.”
Embley said while the playing group were given vitamin supplements to aid their training and recovery, they were always been clearly explained and had never been administered by injection.
He said the Eagles knew better than most the consequences of meddling in illegal substances and would not take the risk.
“(Coach John Worsfold) just briefly spoke to us yesterday about the issue that was going on but we feel like our football club is in a really, really good position,” he said.
“We don’t believe that any of our players would ever be in a position to be doing anything that wasn’t above board.”
Embley said he hoped the looming investigations wouldn’t cause too much damage to the AFL and its 18 clubs.
“It’s a wonderful sport, it’s been a wonderful sport for a long time. You just hope that everything the unfolds over the next few weeks, few months can be all ok,” he said.
“You want your club or your code to be extremely clean, you don’t want to be associated with any wrong dealings or anything like that so you just hope that your club is not involved personally.”