Boss admits regret on 'phys-edders'

Written By Unknown on Senin, 25 Maret 2013 | 23.40

Dropped the ball ... Demetriou says AFL should have acted earlier. Source: George Salpigtidis / News Limited

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou admits the league should have acted much earlier on concerns about the growing influence of sports scientists at some clubs.

Demetriou said that was one issue he was referring to at last week's season launch when he confessed to "some recent errors of judgment".

"One specific example, definitely ... (was) talking about the influence sports scientists were having at football clubs," he told FOX FOOTY's On The Couch.

"We should have intervened a lot earlier.

"When I came out and talked about that, there was outrage from some quarters about sports scientists (having) a place.

"They may well have a place and there are some very fine ones.

"But there were certain things going on, certain practices, particularly with marginalising our club doctors, which was unacceptable."

A year ago, Demetriou said the league would issue heavy fines if it could prove club medical staff were being overruled on player health.

"Phys-edders don't overrule doctors," was Demetriou's blunt warning at the time.

Sports science is now a massive issue not only in the AFL, but Australian sport in general.

Essendon are now under a joint Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and AFL investigation for supplement use last season.

The Bombers have also commissioned an independent investigation to look into "irregular practices" at the club.

The Australian Crime Commission has released a report expressing concerns about performance enhancing drugs and organised crime in sport.

Meanwhile, Demetriou also said on Monday night that he could understand why the league's findings against Melbourne Demons had confused fans.

The league suspended Dean Bailey and Chris Connolly, as well as hitting the Demons with a $500,000 fine, but cleared the club of tanking.

"I can give you lots and lots of cases where there's insufficient evidence and insufficient proof, people do get frustrated by the outcome," Demetriou said.

"All I will say to you is based on the evidence that could be sustained ... that was all that could be supported.

"I tell you what, if you don't have evidence, then you don't go down that track and pinging guilt on people.

"You know where you'll end up? You'll end up in the High Court or somewhere else."

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