Braun cleared by drug investigators - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Braun cleared by drug investigators

20/08/2007 07:22:45 PM Comments (0)

An investigation by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) has cleared West Coast player Michael Braun of using performance-enhancing substances.

ASADA said in a statement it had examined Braun's previous drug test history, as well as target testing him and reviewing available intelligence.

"That review has determined that there is no evidence at this time to support any allegation of the use of performance-enhancing substances by the player," ASADA said.

The investigation was launched earlier this month after Western Bulldogs star Jason Akermanis wrote in a newspaper article that he suspected an opposing player had used performance-enhancing drugs several years ago because he "ran like Superman".

Akermanis did not name anyone in the News Limited article, but the Seven Network later alleged he was referring to Braun.

Braun has vehemently denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs.

Braun's manager and the Eagles have declared their intention to pursue legal action, with West Coast chairman Dalton Gooding saying on the weekend that the club planned to instigate such action this week.

Gooding on Monday said ASADA's finding would allow Braun to renew his focus on football, after the distraction of recent weeks.

"It had a very big impact on Michael and an impact on his family as well," Gooding told Melbourne's sports radio network SEN.

"Obviously a lot of media attention was placed on Michael and this time of the football season when you're getting to the real business end you need to have a clear mind and a clear focus.

"Certainly it has had an impact and the pleasing thing about today is it now allows Michael to concentrate with a clear mind on playing some really good football leading into the finals."

Asked whether the club would prefer Braun and Akermanis to be brought together for mediation, rather than a legal suit, Gooding said they would consult their lawyers.

"We'll be guided by our lawyers, players this year have been very harshly dealt with when there's been any on-field and off-field player behaviour issues by many clubs, including ours," he said.

"We believe that Michael was completely exonerated with this and it's our obligation as a club to fully support him and that's what we're going to do."

The AFL, which has previously said it will wait until the outcome of ASADA's investigation before deciding whether Akermanis will be sanctioned, said it would now review the situation.

"While we note that legal action is being taken in relation to the allegations, the AFL will now review its position," the league said in a statement.

The league welcomed ASADA's finding.

"The AFL thanks ASADA for its thorough investigation of allegations about use of performance enhancing drugs and welcomes its finding that there is no evidence to support the allegations," the AFL said.

"The AFL remains extremely disappointed that the reputation of an individual player, his club, the entire AFL playing group and the competition's long-standing commitment to the fight against performance enhancing drugs has been called into question on the basis of these allegations."

The AFL said it would continue to take ASADA's advice on any steps that were needed to prevent the use of drugs in the sport.

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