WADA set to present its case on Bombers
THE Essendon 34 will find out as soon as today what, if any, new evidence WADA plans to use against them at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Gun US anti- doping lawyer Richard Young and his team were due to deliver their prosecution brief to players’ lawyers overnight.
WADA is pursuing the current and former Bombers players over the alleged use of the banned peptide Thymosin beta- 4 – a charge they beat at the AFL Anti- Doping Tribunal this year. WADA appealed that verdict to CAS and was granted a 45- day extension to prepare its case.
The appeal proceeds “de novo” – which means WADA could simply retry the same evidence presented by the Australian Sports Anti- Doping Authority to the AFL tribunal.
But it is also free to present any new evidence or call new witnesses.
Under CAS guidelines, the players have 10 days to respond to the WADA brief – but they are also expected to be granted an extension.
Prominent QC Neil Clelland will lead the players’ defence. They face bans of up to two years if found guilty.
CAS has allowed WADA and the players to each select one of the three arbitrators who will hear the case. The two known arbitrators are ABC chairman James Spigelman and Belgium- based barrister Romano Subiotto.
Players still remain in the dark on when and where the hearing will take place. WADA has asked it be heard at CAS headquarters in Switzerland.
WADA has sought a stay of proceedings in its case against sports scientist Stephen Dank while Dank’s dealings with the AFL tribunal – which last month banned him for life – over a potential appeal are finalised.
The tribunal found Dank guilty of 10 charges, but did not sustain a further 24. WADA has appealed to CAS on the 24 charges.
A delay in the Dank case could add to the players’ wait if the hearings are consolidated – also a decision yet to be made.