Main content

Dank supplied banned drugs, says ex-NRL player

Sports scientist Stephen Dank
DISGRACED former rugby league player Sandor Earl has made explosive allegations against Stephen Dank, claiming the sports scientist told him he administered banned peptides at other football clubs that had employed him.

Dank has persistently denied he has ever supplied banned substances to players. 

Earl has confessed to using and trafficking banned peptide CJC-1295 and is facing a four-year ban, which he is hoping to reduce by assisting ASADA with their ongoing investigations.
 
The 24-year-old first met Dank in 2011 when he was with NRL club Penrith and was seeking treatment to recover from a double shoulder reconstruction.
 
Dank would ultimately leave the Panthers for Essendon, where he was behind the supplements program that led to the club being fined $2 million and coach James Hird's 12-month ban.
 
"I was introduced to him (Dank) by a strength and conditioning coach, not in any great capacity, just that it might be worth having a chat to him going forward and helping out my shoulders," Earl told Channel Nine's NRL Footy Show on Thursday night.
 
"He did tell me his credentials, which included working at (NRL clubs) Manly, the Sharks, and the Gold Coast Suns.
 
"Someone like that, who I believed was an employee of the club, is in my opinion a reputable sports scientist and someone who has worked with other clubs.
 
"To me, whatever he had to say in a time of need, I was listening and I was interested."
 
Earl alleges Dank supplied him with CJC-1295, which triggers the release of growth hormones, which was then administered by a Dr Ijaz Khan at a clinic in Cabramatta in Sydney's southwest.
 
Asked by the interviewer if Dank had a history of using CJC-1295, Earl said yes.
 
"He said to you specifically that he'd used CJC-1295 at other clubs he'd worked at?"
 
To which Earl replied "Yeah".
 
Earl alleges Dank would at times supply him with a box of the drug from a clinic in Mascot, which he then drove to Cabramatta.
 
Dr Khan, and never Dank himself, administered the injections, according to Earl. There is no suggestion that Dr Khan was doing anything wrong by administering the substances, which although banned from sport, are not illegal. 
 
"Was I a victim of someone who abused his power and trust? Yes I was," Earl said.
 
"Him going to Essendon sort of fizzled out any contact we were having in Sydney or any process to get peptides."
 
While the former Sydney Roosters, Penrith and Canberra representative admits to being naïve, he felt confident at the time nothing he was taking was illegal.
 
"I raised (the legality) quite early," he said. "This wasn't a question of these things won't show up in tests, this was a conversation about banned substances.
 
"I would never use banned substances.
 
"He's been employed by other NRL clubs doing the same things and I had to assume that, why would this person be employed to hand out illegal substances?
 
"It just made no sense.
 
"If he was taking me his mate in the back shed of his house, I'd be starting to ask questions.
 
"But he was taking me to a legitimate doctor whose job is to work on injury rehab and management."
 
Earl's mother Jan Earl was also part of the program and expressed her devastation at the events surrounding her son.

"At the end of the day, who's advising these kids?" Earl's mother said. 
 
Earl, who had a brief and unsuccessful trial with the Bombers as he contemplated switching codes, intends to return to the rugby league arena.
 
"However long my punishment is, I'll accept that," he said. "But make no mistake, I have plans to come back."