Wednesday, 13 February 2013

ASADA Syndrome

There is a new disease striking fear into sporting clubs around Australia known as ASADA Syndrome. You don’t want to catch it because even if it turns out to be benign the effects will be debilitating for a long period of time.

Once the disease takes hold the club’s well being is immediately compromised, it attacks the nervous system first and then progressively wraps itself around the host causing enormous stress and anxiety.

There is no short term relief. Once ASADA strikes the club is immediately under suspicion by all as trial by media ensues. Sponsors get nervous, fans hope for the best but fear the worst and the playing group suffers the most.

We already know 1 AFL club and 6 NRL clubs have the syndrome whilst another AFL club is showing isolated symptoms.

How can ASADA possibly investigate all these clubs in a timely manner!

I want to know how many people work for ASADA. Once they inflict your club with their ‘infestation’ it will be paralysed for how long before they let go?

As their testing regime has proved impotent, ASADA have to rely on circumstantial evidence gained through intelligence involving numerous interviews, computer records and with the help of the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), phone taps.

In the truest sense this is a long term investigation and they need a scalp to justify the release of the Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport report.

In the meantime the paralysis continues at Essendon whilst 6 other NRL clubs await the start of the ASADA investigation.

In Essendon’s case, the preseason competition is about to begin and the whole club has a dark cloud following it’s every movement.

Self inflicted I hear you say?

Nothing has been proven, just a suspicious character whose trail across multiple sporting clubs is deemed worthy of investigation.

The onus is on ASADA to throw all possible resources at getting a result either way. If it has the best interests of sport and the fans at heart this is a must.

Further, if the organisation with the assistance of the ACC took 12 months to get this far with the ubiquitous ‘could’ and ‘possibly’ spread throughout the report, I fear a long and painful investigation process.

In the case of ASADA Syndrome the treatment does considerable damage regardless of the outcome


  1. Only a week after the press conference it has become pretty evident that the manner in which the Government released the ACC report was alarmist and has unfairly cast enourmous suspicions of disrepute across all Australian sports, not just at home but globally, as mentioned by the UK Telegraph's Jacqueline Magnay on Sky News' Sportsnight last night. The government must be held accountable for this.

    However, and this is why the alarmist release has been counter productive, we should all still have confidence that the investigation itself has been expansive and will lead to prosecutions. Though it does appear circumstantially, with ASADA briefing the media that they'll interview people, that they're lighter on evidence than they lead on.

    On Essendon, I disagree with your comment:
    "Nothing has been proven, just a suspicious character whose trail across multiple sporting clubs is deemed worthy of investigation."

    It would be pretty naive to think that merely a "trail from other clubs" has led to an extensive investigation of Essendon by ASADA.

    The reality is we don't know the extent of it, but the manner in which Essendon tipped themselves in before they got a knock on the door suggests it's more than just a suspicious character.

    Finally, the report is filled with "could" because legally it can't go any further.

  2. Thanks for the comment Oracle.

    Not suggesting the happenings at Essendon are free of suspicion just a certain individual is the cause of ASADA interest.