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Using peptides was not an option: doctor

Callum Twomey  February 6, 2013 7:30 PM

AFL 2012 Rd 22 - Richmond v Essendon

Dean Robinson has been stood down as the Bombers' high performance manager

THE DOCTOR approached by Essendon fitness duo Dean Robinson and Stephen Dank last year wanted to help the pair in their quest to improve the health of Bombers players - but knew there was no legal option under WADA policy.

Dr Robin Willcourt, who runs the Epigenx Integrated Medicine practice in South Yarra, told he met with the pair last year and their discussion focused on finding a legal way to overcome the players' issues.  

Willcourt said using peptides was "never" suggested in their conversations.

There are several forms of peptides, some of which are legal for athletes to take but others can promote muscle growth and have similar properties to human growth hormone.

"We discussed what can you do, and in the range of things. I said, 'Well, there's peptides, there's HGH (human growth hormone), there's testosterone, but we can't do any of those so what else do we do?'" Willcourt said.

"We all said there was nothing [legal]. We ended up with a big zero. That was exactly how it ended up, that there was nothing we could do and [we were] lamenting it very much."

Willcourt called on a change in WADA's stringent policies.

"WADA has stepped into areas it knows nothing about," Willcourt said.

"All athletes should be able to have at least normal hormone levels."

Willcourt said he has not spoken to Robinson or Dank since Tuesday, nor has he met with any other club in the past.  

During their meeting, Willcourt examined the blood testing of Essendon players. He recalled analysing the results as saddening.   

"I was placed in a difficult position because I really wanted to help these guys but I knew I couldn't, and it really hurt," Willcourt said.

"I remember thinking [about the players] 'Man, you're just going to keep hurting yourself. This is so wrong'."

Dank departed the Bombers in September last year amid the fallout from the club's injury-riddled season.

After it was revealed the club would be investigated for its use of supplements on Tuesday, Robinson was stood down pending the outcome of that investigation.