The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) this week released a paper ‘Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport: New generation Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs and Organised Criminal Involvement in their use in Professional Sport.’
The investigation has drawn on information over the last 4 years and has resulted in everybody, with the exception of martians hiding out in Area 51, being potentially implicated with involvement in PED’s and match fixing.
To be fair, the release of the report is largely a phishing expedition, an attempt to scare people into thinking that the Police are about to knock at their door and they may as well come clean now to save their own skin. To say that it deliberately encourages PED Profiling would be an understatement. AFL, A-League and NRL organizations have been quick to come out in their own defence, stating-matter-of factly that ‘they’ are not being investigated; the laughable part being that they wouldn’t know if they were, fact sharing amongst crime and sporting organization integrity units being low.
Everybody and anybody could be guilty of something under these far-reaching but unspecific ‘findings’. The paper draws together professional sports, their players, coaches, support staff and administrators; crime gangs, anti-aging clinics, drug traffickers, recreational drug users and the gambling industry.
Minister for Home Affairs and Justice Jason Clare, is the government face to this investigation. An interview with him on ABC’s Insiders can be seen here.
Last week news of the peculiar story of the supplement regime of the Essendon football club in the AFL was made public. Players were requested to sign paperwork acknowledging the use of injections were legal and they consented to their use. Stephen Dank, the former sports science employee at Essendon had analysed the blood work of Essendon football players last year and prescribed a regime of injections, which depending on whom you listen to, included vitamins, but maybe peptides and hormones, supposedly legal but perhaps not.
Players were taken to sterile locations to have injections by registered nurses, which some former players and peers claimed gave the impression of the East German drug regime.
The element that will not come out in the media.
Athletic sporting development in Australia can range from cutting edge to laughably primitive.
Strength development in team sports in Australia, by the admission of Prof Rob Newton at Edith Cowan University…
“The other trend that I have observed over the last two Olympic cycles is a reduced training focus on the underlying qualities of neuromuscular strength and power. Put simply our athletes are not sufficiently muscular or strong enough to compete with the likes of China and the United States.”
Focusing for a moment on the strength and power element of why athletes take PED’s in order to gain a competitive edge, it is a disgrace that athletes are resorting to PED use when a better training regime would yield greater and safer results. Highlighting the NRL code, because of the exposure SSS gym has with NRL players and trainers, the strength capabilities and training knowledge of players and those employed to train them is in the kindest description; poor.
A 106kg NRL representative player, maxing out on the deadlift at 165kg for a set of 5 is troubling (as happened at SSS). Players who cannot squat down to a legal IPF depth because of poor mobility is breath-taking (seen 2 weeks ago at SSS). The admission by trainers who are employed to instruct players from early development stages through to burgeoning professional careers, that they do not possess the skills to improve these issues is unacceptable.
People may claim that PED use has taken place under a cloak of illegal dealings, unethical practices and recklessness, but in my view, there is one extra shocking detail; that player performances could be even better without PED’s if they improved their training practices.
The only element of investigation it seems the ACC isn’t pursuing is that concerning the kinds of PED use that aren’t just happening and are illegal, but also are unnecessary because of the ineptness of some modern athletic development protocols.