ASADA chief Ben McDevitt has said banned Essendon players should have known better than to allow themselves to be injected with unknown supplements during the 2012 season.
McDevitt, the man who was at the forefront for ASADA during the AFL anti-doping tribunal hearing in late 2014, said players are well educated on the perils of performance-enhancing drugs.
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“This unfortunate episode has chronicled the most devastating self-inflicted injury by a sporting club in Australian history,” McDevitt said.
“There were very little grounds for the the players to claim they were at no significant fault.
“The players had received anti-doping education through the AFL and ASADA, and were all aware that they are personally responsible for all substances that entered their body.”
McDevitt said the onus was on the players to find out precisely what the club was injecting them with.
“Unfortunately, despite their education, they agreed to be injected with a number of substances they had little knowledge of, made no inquiries about the substance and kept the injections from their team doctor and ASADA,” he said.
“Of 30 ASADA testing missions during the period in question, none of the 18 players tested declared the injections, despite being asked each time whether they had taken any supplements.
“At best, the players did not ask the questions, or the people they should have. At worst, they were complicit in a culture of secrecy and concealment.”