Former ASADA CEO Richard Ings has advised Australian sports clubs to take note of the fallout Essendon’s supplements program in 2011-12 before implementing supplement programs themselves.
Speaking at the ‘Sport in Victoria’ forum at the MCG’s Olympic room this morning, Ings said clubs and athletes nationwide could take the Essendon saga as a warning in “the consequences of getting doping wrong”.
“It’s a massive learning area,” Ings said.
“I would hope there’s any number of sports clubs across Australia that would learn from this and put the appropriate verification programs in place to ensure nothing of this nature happens if they undertake a supplements program.”
Ings highlighted the numerous job and premiership points losses along with the estimated “$15 million cost” so far sustained by Essendon.
“And we haven’t even started yet, this is only just the beginning,” he said, referencing the action taken by Essendon against ASADA in Federal Court earlier this week.
Ings appeared at the event as panelist for the forum ‘Can you win fair? – Sports, Drugs, Ethics and Science’.
Also part of the panel were Chief Football Writer of the The Age Caroline Wilson and David Grace QC, the Athletics Australia President who is currently representing Essendon in the Federal Court action.
Grace said while there was “no excuse” for athletes in Australia to be taking banned substances, there was a need for professional sports leaders to properly educate the next generation of athletes on fair practices.
“I’m talking about a supplements policy that promotes education and direction, but also defines procedures by which athletes can find out which supplements fall foul of anti-doping regulations,” Grace said.
“We need such a policy in place so we therefore can be justly proud of our athletes.”