Elliott distances himself from drug probe

DAVID LONG
Last updated 15:29 14/02/2013
Matthew Elliott
Photosport

MATTHEW ELLIOTT: "I have known Danksy for years, when I was playing he was involved in St George ... we got hypoxic units, the altitude thing where you put a mask on."

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Warriors coach Matt Elliott insists there was never anything of a dodgy nature discussed in the meetings he had with controversial Australian sports science guru Stephen Dank.

Elliott has found himself embroiled in the Australian Sports Anti Doping Agency's investigation into the use of performance enhancing drugs because he had a couple of meetings with Dank when coaching Penrith in 2011.

Dank has been a key figure in the investigation. He moved into Australian Rules circles from league and has been sacked by the AFL club Essendon.

Penrith, Newcastle, Canberra, North Queensland, Manly and Cronulla have reportedly been told by ASADA that the reason why they are being investigated is because of their links with Dank.

The association with the Panthers came from meetings between Dank and Elliott.

But Elliott says there were no conversations about performance enhancing drugs between the two.

"I have known Danksy for years, when I was playing he was involved in St George ... we got hypoxic units, the altitude thing where you put a mask on," Elliott said today

"He helped with the installation of that and put some connections in that allowed us to use oxygen from them as well.

"My thoughts on him as an individual are that he was pretty helpful. You can get a lie detector if you like, but there was no conversation about injecting players and putting stuff into them, that's for sure."

With the investigation zoning in on Dank, he is being seen as the key figure in this saga. 

Elliott was asked by Fairfax Media if he felt it was unfair that Dank has been portrayed as the bad guy.

"I have no idea about that," Elliott said. 

"As I say, I have known him for a long time but I wouldn't say we'd hung around together.

"I spoke to him a couple of times about the utilisation of those systems, but I honestly hope not, but he does seem to be in the centre of it."

Elliott said he was surprised and disappointed to find himself being dragged into the story and felt that when it broke last week, it was something about nothing.

"Initially I was unfazed by it ... I either had my head in the sand or has it been going on right under my nose?

"I have been around footy players for a long time and my first indication of it was that it's a beat up, some sort of legal stunt, I'm not sure.

"Then I learnt today that I've got my own name stuck in the paper because I had a meeting with a certain individual.

"I don't think anyone likes having that sort of speculation heading your way.

"I am not going to get worried about it or have a guilty conscience about something that I am not only not involved in, but at the other end of the spectrum as far as [what] I believe players should be doing with supplementation.

"I am more down the health route.

"What we've heard about is a thing called peptides, which I'm not really au fait with.

"Sports science is an area of personal interest but I haven't really got this covered.

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"In the press statement it was stuff about organised crime being involved, match fixing and this systemic use of performance enhancing drugs.

"Well I tell you what, if that's the case I really need to lift my eyes up a bit and have a look around."

- Fairfax Media

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