Cometti: Comfortably my worst yet ...

The Essendon drug saga continues to drag on.

And if exposed form is anything to go on, perhaps we should all brace ourselves for another ASADA announcement this week to coincide with a Bombers appearance on Friday night football (they play Richmond this week).

I'm sure it's not just my imagination.

Seems to me some of the juiciest moments in this controversy have coincided with some of Essendon's biggest games in the last two seasons.

Maybe it's a coincidence, or maybe everybody, including ASADA, just loves prime time.

Regardless, Mark Thompson's beleaguered team (previously James Hird's beleaguered team) has had to contend with quite a few turbulent times in the build-up to numerous Friday night appearances.

It's something of a standing joke in the Cometti household as to what announcement or article (official, leaked or speculative) would send a game spinning off into another direction.

Now having said all of that, last Friday night in Sydney seemed to pass without incident. Memorable because it was an exception to the rule.

Or was it?

On my Friday morning flight to Sydney, I stumbled upon a small newspaper headline (dwarfed by Bieber and just near the bereavements) that cried out for more exposure: "USFDA clears peptide".

The article went on to say: "The drug AOD9604 has won supplement and food approval from the US Food and Drug Administration.
This week the FDA gave the all clear for OAD9604 to be sold as a nutrient supplement in conventional and functional foods, drinks and dieting supplements."

Of course, AOD9604 is the same drug Essendon captain Jobe Watson suggested may have been administered to him.

Introspective speculation that very quickly had many branding him a drug cheat and demanding he be stripped of his Brownlow Medal.

It's also the same drug ASADA has been most coy about throughout this entire investigation.

And while it's my belief OAD9604 remains a substance on the newly introduced AFL Banned Treatments list, an FDA announcement proclaiming the drug safe must bring a level of comfort to Bomber players and their families.

The darkest day in Australian sport remains overcast, at best.

Since that declaration we've witnessed a tawdry show with few heroes.

But as an aside, may I suggest my friend and colleague Tim Watson is one.

Tim has done a masterful job balancing his conflicting roles of Channel 7 Sports anchor, Essendon legend, Jobe's father and footy tragic.

He has favourites but he plays none.

Having admired him so much as a player turns out he's an even more admirable broadcaster.

The West Australian

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