Fremantle chief executive Steve Rosich is adamant the club has nothing to fear from any probe into performance enhancing drugs in the AFL, declaring that the products of a former sponsor fined for importing unregistered substances were vetted by club doctors.
Export Corporation Australia Pty Ltd, the parent company of former Dockers sponsor Nutrition Systems, was fined $3.1 million in Federal Court in 2012 after being found guilty of 35 illegal importations in 2007 and 2008. Nutrition Systems was to sponsor the Dockers in 2008, 2009 and 2010 but the arrangement was terminated in 2009.
Rosich said the sponsorship ended for commercial reasons.
"It was essentially a marketing contract," he said. "It was a non-exclusive supply arrangement. We vetted the products we utilised as we normally would so we are very comfortable.
"There was a limited amount of product that we utilised from Nutrition Systems. In each of those cases the product was vetted by club doctors prior to the players using them.
"Our arrangement finished some time ago and we only became aware of the fine from the media yesterday."
"Our club has a food first focus and supplements are obviously a part of that process but they are only a minor part of it. In terms of the recommendations that the AFL announced yesterday in a very pro-active way we support those. We are looking forward to meeting with the AFL next week and learning more and how we can be involved in that process."
Justice Nye Perram found Export Corporation's unlawful exports were not the result of a systematic plan but more likely "an error of systems control".
Rosich said the Dockers had used two Nutritions Systems products which were manufactured in Australia.