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ACC cleared me, Hird knew: Dank
ACC cleared me, Hird knew: Dank

Former Essendon Football Club performance scientist Stephen Dank has claimed the Australian Crime Commission cleared him of any illegal activities during an interview last year and coach James Hird was fully aware of everything he gave the players.

Dank is at the centre of the AFL's drugs scandal after the Bombers asked the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority to investigate the supplements given to players last season.

AFL deputy chief executive Gillon McLachlan said some players may have received performance-enhancing drugs without their knowledge or consent.

Dank broke his silence last night as Essendon briefed the parents of their players about the supplement program.

He told the ABC's 7.30 program that he always followed World Anti-Doping Agency policy and the ACC had no problem with his regime when it spoke to him in September. "They obviously were quite happy with what I had discussed with them," he said.

"I figured that must have been consistent with whatever information that they had. They indicated to me that they were happy with that information.

"They said they didn't think that I'd done anything wrong."

Dank left Essendon after last season. He previously worked for AFL clubs Geelong and Gold Coast and five NRL clubs including 2008 premiers Manly.

Describing himself as a scientist and biochemist who was about to complete a PhD in pharmacology, Dank denied giving any players performance- enhancing drugs.

"They had intravenous injections for vitamin B and vitamin C, which are quite compliant with the WADA code," Dank said.

"Nothing else intravenously. There was no intravenous application of peptides whatsoever."

Dank said several oral supplements that he used included legal peptides which are permitted under WADA regulations. He said every supplement was documented on Essendon's computer.

He also denied using illegal procedures to administer illegal substances and said he always briefed players, coaches, doctors and high-performance staff.

"There was a collective involvement," Dank said. "It wasn't just Stephen Dank, even though he managed the program. There was certainly an input from people outside of myself within structuring that program. There was a significant involvement from Dean (Robinson) as the high performance manager.

"There was always detailed discussion with the head coach James Hird. There was certainly detailed discussion with the club doctor (Bruce Reid). They were the main people involved in the knowledge of this program."

Dank confirmed Essendon players were asked to sign consent forms before the supplement program began.

He has launched a $10 million legal action against media outlets which have accused him of giving Essendon players performance-enhancing drugs.

He admitted selling performance-enhancing drug GHRP-6 in his medical rejuvenation clinic but said that was legal because only athletes were banned from receiving it.

Dank revealed several Essendon coaches were given supplements, including vitamins and protein and some that were illegal for players to take. The coaches were not drug tested so were not doing anything wrong, he said. He said under no circumstances was GHRP-6 ever used at Essendon. Dank denied links with outlaw motorcycle gangs or underworld figures.