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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 6 June 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 6 JUNE 2015 29 SPORT Dank to face court WADA to appeal the AFL’s 21 notguilty verdicts for Stephen Dank Sports scientist Stephen Dank will face a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing after the World Anti-Doping Authority announced it is appealing against the decision to clear him of 21 charges. In April, the AFL anti-doping tribunal cleared Dank of 21 of 31 breaches of the game's drug code over the Essendon supplements scandal, including administering the banned peptide Thymosin Beta-4 to Bombers players. He was found guilty of 10 charges, many of which related to the trafficking of banned substances. WADA director general David Howman announced that the world's top anti-doping body would appeal against the 21 not-guilty verdicts. "After a thorough examination of the evidence contained within the case file, WADA has decided to lodge its independent right of appeal to the Court of Arbitra- tion for Sport," Howman said in a statement. The Australian Sports AntiDoping Authority welcomed the news, with chief executive Ben McDevitt saying it "will fully support" WADA's decision. The controversial Dank has maintained his innocence and said last month he would appeal the AFL's 10 rulings against him on the grounds the findings were inconsistent with the facts. They mostly related to his time with Essendon. This latest development in a saga that has run for more than two years follows WADA's move last month to appeal against the AFL antidoping tribunal's not guilty verdict for 34 past and present Bombers alleged to have used banned substances. The Australian Sports AntiDoping Authority opted not to challenge that ruling, leaving WADA free to take the matter to CAS, the court that will hear Dank's case. In a sign the investigation may drag on further, WADA was last week granted a 45day extension by CAS to build its case. Ablett bites back at critics Gary Ablett not impressed with calls he’s letting down the team because of injury Injured Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett says criticism surrounding his ongoing absence from the team is misinformed and inaccurate. Ablett, whose season has been restricted by a serious shoulder injury stemming from last year, said on Wednesday he hoped to return after the Suns' bye week in round 12. But the dual Brownlow Medallist insisted that critics such as Jonathan Brown, who this week slammed Ablett for letting down his team-mates by not playing through the pain barrier, did not know the full story behind his injury. "I'm doing everything I possibly can to get myself right, outside of taking painkillers and jabbing it up to play," Ablett said. "If it was simple as just pain I'd be out there. "There are some complica- tions which I won't go into detail. "I sit down with the doctors, catch up every week, we do tests on the shoulders, they give me their advice on whether they think I might be able to progress my training, and I make decisions around that. "I really want to be out there with my teammates but I think it'd be selfish of me to go out and play the way my shoulder is at the moment." Brown told Fox Footy's On The Couch earlier this week that it was time for Ablett to accept that part of being a leader was playing with injuries, believing he was cleared to play because he started the season. Ablett initially suffered the injury in the back half of last season and was still obviously hampered when he played in Gold Coast's first Gold Coast Suns captain Gary Ablett admits he really wants to be out playing. PHOTO: AAP/DAVE HUNT. two games this year - a decision he says in retrospect was the wrong one. However, Ablett revealed he had scar tissue removed from his shoulder six weeks out from round one, and also had an allergic reaction to a suture anchor which also disrupted his preparation. Coaches rack up own injuries Sports scientist Stepehn Dank. PHOTO: AAP /JULIAN SMITH. High contact rule altered The AFL has made a rare mid-season tweak to highcontact rules, citing a groundswell of support for player safety. From this weekend on, umpires will be encouraged to pay free kicks to players in possession who ‘drive’ with their heads into other players. The ‘drivers’ will have to dispose of the ball or instead hear the umpire's whistle and a free kick paid to his tackler. The AFL's guideline now reads: "Any movement where a player drives or leads with their head into a stationary or near-station- North Melbourne have lost Brad Scott and Collingwood may be without Nathan Buckley for a short period ary tackler will be deemed as a drive and will be umpired as the player with the ball having had prior opportunity. "The player must immediately kick or handball or a free kick for holding the ball, under the prior opportunity rule, will be paid against him." AFL football operations chief Mark Evans said the umpiring department had flagged a move in mid-May. The AFL is seeking to encourage good technique when players are picking up the ball by turning their bodies to protect their heads, he said. Two days after it was revealed North Melbourne coach Brad Scott would miss a month of the AFL season due to back surgery, Collingwood counterpart Nathan Buckley went under the knife. Buckley was playing touch football on Tuesday when he tore his left hamstring from the bone. The club expects Buckley will be able to coach the Magpies in Monday's match against Melbourne, but if he is unavailable, senior assistant coach Robert Harvey will take the reins. "Clearly, the end to my playing career taught me very little,” Buckley said in a statement. "I'm still confusing ambition with ability and my hamstrings are still reminding me of that mistake." Harvey took control of training on Wednesday and will continue to manage the squad until Buckley returns. "As important as the senior coach is, the strength and quality of the Collingwood program should compensate for his absence for a couple of days if that is what transpires," Collingwood director of football Neil Balme said. "Harves and the rest of the coaching staff are an experienced group and more than capable of ensuring continuity." Nathan Buckley suffered a hamstring injury during the week. PHOTO: AAP/MAL FAIRCLOUGH. Coaching from the couch? The AFL has said if required, it would allow the coaches to complete their match-day duties away from the ground. "Given the exceptional circumstances, we would allow them to be in contact with someone in the box," a League spokesman told AFL. com.au Normally under AFL integrity rules, communication is heavily monitored and restricted between the coaches boxes and the change rooms.
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13 June 2015