Questions on the Essendon supplement scandal yet to be addressed, consistent with the undetermined status of the issue (interim report)
HAS ANYONE HEARD from Stephen Dank?
Is drama football’s oxygen, on and off the field?
When James Hird looks in the mirror does he see himself cast in marble? Or would the allegations around the vials of Melanotan II have you believe bronze to be a more appropriate medium?
If Andrew Demetriou ‘tipped off’ Essendon on ASADA’s interest, was James Hird really that shocked to be sitting there? Did you believe the Essendon coach when he said as the leader of the football department he takes full responsibility for what happens within the football department? If so did you maintain that belief when Ian Robson stood down as CEO? When David Evans stood down as Chairman?
Could a thousand Big Footy crackpots with laptops, imagination and enough Red Bull turn the Essendon drama into a Shakespearian mini-series?
Are you on a first-name basis with Gillon McLachlan? Or are you a reader of The Age, and more familiar with the name “League Sources”? If integrity resides in failure, how do you rate the performance of the AFL’s Integrity Unit?
At what point is a gosling a goose? Did you know that James Hird was only in his second year of coaching when all this went down? What do you think James Hird will do next year? Do you expect to see him in your front yard, sweating through his overalls and espousing the benefits of not having to paint your house again for another 15 years? Will he take a holiday? Have you ever been to Mexico?
Can you buy muscular dystrophy drugs duty free? Did you know that that research intended to help people with muscle-wasting diseases could be about to launch a new era in performance-enhancing drugs and that several muscle-building drugs are now being tested in people with such diseases? Are you tempted to take your ex-girlfriend’s unlabeled medication that you stumbled upon in your bathroom cabinet? May I hasten to add that she was very fit, slim and tanned? If I told you I was trying to lose a few extra kilos and was intending to take such medication, would you think less of me, or would you praise my whatever it takes attitude?
Do you know a spade from a shovel? Can you tell the difference between regular Thymosin and Thymosin Beta-4? Would it help if I told you the former is used in the early diagnosis and treatment of high risk haemophiliacs with AIDS-like immune dysfunction and the latter is believed to play an important role in the repair and regeneration of damaged tissue?
I believe I asked you this before, but let me ask again as it is important: has anyone heard from Stephen Dank?
Would you say that financially, your affairs are in order? Are you in the red or in the black? Does $4,200 sound about right for 14 vials of Hexarelin? Is $61,000 too much to pay for hyperbaric treatments? If your receipt for the purchase of this book charged the correct amount but read ‘amino acids’, would you return to the bookstore to query it?
How seriously would you take a letter from your family doctor of 40 years? More seriously than an email? A text message? A televised testimonial from Mark McVeigh?
Do you recall the passion you had for football as a kid? When James Hird says he’s a person “who’s loved this club for a long time”, could you describe his involvement in Essendon’s supplement saga as a crime of passion? Do you recall when your belief in Santa fell apart? Is a belief in Santa a primer for belief in James Hird? Or are you a reader of the works of Max Weber, and when considering his tripartite classification of authority, think Santa of being a ‘traditional authority’, whereas the definition of ‘charismatic authority’ – resting on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person – is a more accurate sociological definition of #StandByHird.
Have you ever had to dig a deep hole? Did you see Jobe Watson’s appearance on On The Couch? Do you count calories? Given a choice, would you take AOD-9604 via injection or would you prefer to apply it as a cream?
Do you believe that ethics are contextual, whereas sport, unlike life, needs inflexibly defined rules?
Do you think there is a finer set of arms on a man other than Shaun Hampson? If I said to you “I have a pill that could strip fat, build muscle, increase sex drive and make you attractive to a beautiful woman who is also an ambassador for L’Oreal Paris, would you take it? Would you ask a lot of questions? Or would you simply say “shut up and give me the pill!”? Did you once take trucker-strength No-Doze™ before a game of suburban football in the genuine belief it would improve your reflexes? Or did you do it because you had spent the first half of the year in the reserves and just wanted to fit in? If your workplace ordered 8,000 doses of Tribulus, would it cross your mind to run it past HR? Your union? Or at the very least ask ‘what is Tribulus?’ Do you know what CJC-1295 refers to? GHRP6? OH&S?
If you hired a personal assistant and they came in on the first day and said, “I’ll be needing the name of a compound chemist and for you to get out of my way,” would you be concerned about your hire?
Has anyone heard from ASADA?
Has anyone heard from Stephen Dank?
This is an edited extract of the foreword to the 2013 Footy Almanac, Available now. Other forewords from Tim Boyle, David Hobson, Barb Smith, and a season review from John Harms.