Controversial 'peptide' doctor charged over injections
Disgraced sports scientist Stephen Dank has been charged with several offences in the Northern Territory relating to his controversial peptide injections.
Dank, 56, the architect of the Essendon Football Club's supplements regime that saw 34 players banned from competition for a year, has been charged with causing serious harm, recklessly endangering serious harm and fraud.
The NT News reports that charges relate to his brief period of employment at Darwin's Ageless Health Clinic NT in early 2017, but lawyers say it could have major ramifications for any future legal action taken by Essendon players.
Player-manager Peter Jess, who has been representing Essendon footballers in recent years, said the charges against Dank were alarming.
Mr Jess said there was never any proof the Bomber players were injected with thyamosin beta-4, the substance for which they were banned.
The Darwin case placed fresh doubt on what was given to them and the potential health implications, he said.
"It raises obvious concerns from my point of view," Mr Jess said.
"Were there any other supplements/drugs that were given?
"I don't think there's any possibility he injected them with thyamosin beta-4. It wasn't in the country."
Dank declined to comment when contacted this week.
"Good to see the newspapers are on their toes," he said.
"Thanks for your time."
The charges are the latest step in a drastic fall from grace for the man who was once lauded for his cutting-edge approach to training elite athletes.
The mastermind of the Bombers' supplements program, he was given a life ban by the AFL anti-doping tribunal in 2015 after being found guilty of 10 breaches of the anti-doping code.
In 2016 the 34 Essendon players who took part in Dank's injection regime were banned from competition for 12 months.
The scandal also contributed to the resignations of Bombers' coach James Hird and assistant coach Mark Thompson.
Dank was also tied to the NRL supplements scandal at the Cronulla Sharks, which resulted in a 12-month ban for the NRL club's coach Shane Flanagan as well as backdated, year-long suspensions for 12 players.
In July 2016 he was injured when shots were fired at his home.
Less than a year later, the NT News revealed he was working at the Ageless Health Clinic as a peptide consultant.
At the time, a spokeswoman for the clinic said Dank was hired "to ensure the clinic can offer and demonstrate the best knowledge in peptide treatment and therapy."
Management at the clinic declined to comment on Tuesday, saying the matter was now before the courts.
Dank has been summonsed to appear in the Darwin Local Court on December 18.