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ASADA hits back at latest ‘allegations’ over Essendon scandal

ASADA has hit back at what it says are “allegations of evidence manipulation” in the media.

It follows a fresh twist in the Essendon supplements saga.

ASADA responded on Wednesday, saying the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had sole responsibility for setting and determining prohibited substances.

“It is not possible to manipulate whether or not substances are prohibited,” ASADA said in a statement.

“Thymosin Beta 4 was included on the 2010 Prohibited List by WADA under a general category of substances being a growth factor affecting muscle, tendon or ligament, vascularisation and regenerative capacity.

“The substance Thymosin Beta 4 was always banned before, during and after the Cobia investigation.

“Thymosin Beta 4 has never been approved for human use.

“Whether a substance was on ASADA’s former Check Your Substances tool has no bearing on its status as a prohibited substance on WADA’s Prohibited List.

“It is impossible to list every substance that may be used for performance enhancement in such a tool, particularly those not approved for use by humans.”

ASADA said any search for a substance on its website that was not contained in the “Check Your Substance” tool would have received an instruction to follow up with ASADA immediately.

The anti-doping body said it was “subject to a level of external scrutiny that has never before been seen” in an Australian anti-doping investigation.

This included:

  • multiple Federal Court challenges;
  • multiple anti-doping hearings;
  • Swiss Federal Court review;
  • complaints made by third parties to the Commonwealth Ombudsman; and
  • complaints made to the Senate Committee.

“At all times the conduct of ASADA and its staff was vindicated,” ASADA said.