Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Frankenfooty: Essendon's mixed bag of supplements

By Ian Musgrave

Essendon's players were exposed to worthless or unproven treatments at best, and rank pseudoscience at worst.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

The list of charges by the AFL against the Essendon Football Club for its alleged supplements program makes for compelling reading. Early on in the Essendon charge sheet is this paragraph, which sets the stage for the tragedy that is the whole doping scandal:

In or around August 2011, the Club determined to implement a scientifically pioneering program relating to the administration of supplements to its players in preparation for, and during, the 2012 AFL Premiership Season. [emphasis added]

The term Frankenfooty is a bit misleading. At least Dr Frankenstein, however misguidedly, did create a monster. In the case of Essendon, despite the lofty goals in the paragraph above, all that happened was that the players were exposed to worthless or unproven treatments at best, and rank pseudoscience at worst.

It’s important to note that Essendon has denied the charges and has called for a public hearing by an independent arbiter.

It seems Essendon’s most valuable assets, its players, were exposed to potential harmful treatments that flew in the face of the very science on which they sought to base their...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.