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Players weigh in on scandal

Ben Guthrie and Harry Thring  February 6, 2013 10:33 AM

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Pies captain Nick Maxwell says players will now be more vigilant when taking supplements

AS ESSENDON braces itself for a joint AFL and ASADA investigation, players from around the League are starting to consider the impact on them and their clubs.

The Bombers came forward to the AFL on Tuesday over fears their players may have been unknowingly taking performance-enhancing substances.

Port Adelaide defender Alipate Carlile admitted that players rarely took it upon themselves to check what was being recommended to them by club doctors, potentially putting their futures at stake.

While the 25-year-old denied Power players had ever been asked to sign any sort of waiver form, as former Bomber Kyle Reimers alleged happened at Windy Hill, Carlile said he and his teammates rarely questioned what was being given to them.

Reimers alleged on Chanel Nine on Tuesday that Essendon requested players to sign waivers taking responsibility for supplements taken as part of the Bombers' 2012 fitness program.

Former ASADA chairman Richard Ings told SEN Radio on Wednesday morning that "being unaware of what you're taking is no excuse" and that "players involved in using performance-enhancing drugs would be liable to prosecution for an anti-doping law violation".

Carlile said, "Sometimes we do (check ourselves), but most of the time we just trust the club doctors, we've got full faith and trust that they'd do everything by the book.

"It gets ticked off at every level and they're all over that.

"Our club doctors are up there with the best in the world as we’ve seen so we just go on what they've given us."

Using the Essendon example, Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell said players would now be more vigilant when taking different supplements.

"These guys (sports scientists) are experts in their field, and I know that all they want is the best for me as a player, but also for me to perform at the football club," Maxwell said on SEN on Wednesday morning.

"There's probably going to be a lot more players asking questions when they are given these things."

St Kilda forward Stephen Milne also told SEN anything to do with injecting would be of concern for him.

"Anything you're injecting that goes in to your body, you're always a bit worried about that," Milne said.

Milne denied he had ever signed a player waiver form during his time at the Saints, saying players are frequently instructed on what they can and cannot take.

"We have meetings and our sports science guys come through and they say what this is and all that kind of stuff," Milne said.

"Anything you do have, you get told to go through the doctors.

"If you think that it's going to help you've got to go through the right channels."

Bombers legend Tim Watson said he is amazed these practices were allowed to take place at his beloved club.

"As an Essendon person, I was angered by this story because I was thinking about the gullibility of people who are in charge of the football club," Watson said on SEN on Wednesday morning.

"I understand the naivety of players. They come in to the system and they're a bit like cattle.

"They're told this is what they need to do, they're training regimes and that type of thing.

"I'm bewildered that this can take place in a modern-day AFL professional football club."

As father of reigning Brownlow medallist and Bombers captain Jobe, Tim Watson said he would be distraught if his son was stripped of his 2012 medal.

That is one of the sanctions that could be enforced by the AFL, if it is deemed necessary following the conclusion to the ASADA probe.

"As a parent, I'd be devastated for him. There's not much more you can say. You would be completely and utterly destroyed," Watson said.

Ben Guthrie is a reporter for AFL.com.au. Follow him on Twitter @AFL_BenGuthrie