Dank vows legal action after AFL life ban

Controversial sports scientist Stephen Dank has vowed to take legal action against the AFL after he received a lifetime ban from the sport for his role in the Essendon supplements scandal.


On Friday, Dank was banned for life by the AFL anti-doping tribunal for breaching the league’s anti-doping code, with the sanction effective from June 25 this year.

“We will now accelerate our legal action against the AFL and individual members of its executive who are responsible for this decision being handed down,” Dank told News Corp Australia.

“They have contaminated the truth and impaired natural justice and now they will feel the full thrust of the law in relation to how they’ve handled this process.”

Dank told Fox Sports that he had left a message with AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan to warn him that he would be “going after him” in relation to the matter and “would leave no stone unturned in pursuing justice”.

The AFL and ASADA both welcomed the decision to ban Dank for life.

ASADA chief executive Ben McDevitt has said previously that Dank should never be allowed near any sporting venue or any athlete anywhere in the world.

“This ruling by the AFL anti-doping tribunal has confirmed my view,” McDevitt said via a statement.

“Other serious alleged violations involving Mr Dank and current and former Essendon players are currently being pursued before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) via appeals initiated by the World Anti-Doping Agency.”

Dank has the right to contest the sanction before an AFL appeals board, which could delay WADA’s proposed re-hearing of the case against 34 past and present Essendon players at the CAS.

Dank chose not to be represented at the tribunal hearing, chaired by former Victorian County Court judge David Jones.

Last month, the tribunal upheld 10 anti-doping infringements against Dank that were found to have occurred during his time at AFL clubs Essendon and the Gold Coast, but he was cleared of 24 other alleged infringements.

Earlier this year, the players were cleared of taking banned peptide Thymosin Beta-4 by an AFL tribunal.

Dank’s ban effectively means he won’t be able to work again in any sport in the world that is a signatory to the WADA code.