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Flaws in WADA anti-doping code

Victoria University’s Professor Bob Stewart, a drugs in sport expert, is available to comment on the effects of the Court of Arbitration Sport verdict for the Essendon Football Club.

Professor Stewart, the co-author of Rethinking Drug Use in Sport: Why the war will never be won, said the fallout illustrates fundamental flaws in the WADA anti-doping code and its implementation in Australian professional team sports.

“The WADA code was initially directed at Olympic Sports and individual athletes,” Professor Stewart said.

“As the fall-out from the Essendon Football Club case shows, unregulated control of the conditioning and training programs of players in club settings – where bureaucratic coercion and management pressures can shape the behaviour of vulnerable players – can be harmful and socially destructive.

“This case is an example of how a couple of sports scientists can reshape the culture of a club and a sad example of how inept management can create so much collateral damage.

“There are no winners here with the sustainability of one club and the careers of up to 34 players likely to be destroyed.”

Professor Stewart is available for interview.

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