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Sea Eagles sponsor's blood boils

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Sea Eagles sponsor's blood boils

    Brad Walter, Sebastian Hassett and Dan Silkstone | July 2, 2008

    A LONG-TIME Manly sponsor has raised concerns about the club's use of calves' blood extract as the controversy yesterday spread to the AFL.

    After revelations in yesterday's Herald linking the Sea Eagles to the product Actovegin, which is manufactured in Europe from the blood of Australian-raised calves, coach Des Hasler and chief executive Grant Mayer were forced to spend much of the day attempting to placate sponsor Body Science (BSc), which produces nutritional supplements and has had a deal in place with Manly for three years.

    The company also sponsors seven other NRL clubs and AFL premiers Geelong, who last year sent injured defender Max Rooke to Germany for a radical treatment in which he was injected with the calves' blood extract for 10 days by Bayern Munich football club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfarth to help repair a seven-inch hamstring tear.

    BSc co-owner and director James Grasso said he would also seek more information about the use of Actovegin by the Cats after yesterday telling the Sea Eagles about the concerns his company had if they were using a supplement not provided by them.

    "We're concerned whenever we hear of somebody using a product that is not supplied by us," Grasso said. "Our concern is that once it goes outside of our control, it puts us in a precarious position. I'm not pointing the finger at anyone else or saying that they don't comply with the WADA guidelines but we know what goes in our products.

    "From what I have heard about this other product [Actovegin], it has to be administered by a doctor. That's really taking things on a far different course. When we do a deal with a club we can't take that risk. But I have spoken to Des Hasler today and he has assured me that this is not happening and has never happened."

    The Herald yesterday reported Manly were considering using Actovegin to help boost players' endurance in the lead-up to the finals but has since been told some players have been injected with the calves' blood extract over the past two years to assist with the recovery of injuries.

    Geelong team doctor Chris Bradshaw, who used his English Premier League connections from a stint with Fulham to arrange for Rooke to visit Muller-Wohlfarth's Munich clinic, yesterday acknowledged Actovegin may also assist with increasing stamina - although he did not have any evidence that it enhanced performance. Bradshaw insisted the Cats did not use it for that purpose but said he was aware of rumours some rival clubs may be.

    "I've heard certain things about other clubs, but I'm not certain. I think people are sort of dabbling with it a little bit, but I don't know if that's more to do with endurance or overall wellness," he told the Herald.

    "I've done a bit of research and I haven't seen anything that proves it is a performance aid. I'm still a believer in good basic techniques and good basic supplementation, nothing too spectacular, and we seem to go OK.

    "There's probably some people out there however that believe it does help in certain conditions. I'm aware of that, and it's something you've got to be aware of and look at. I don't have the experience to consider doing any of that in any of my work at the moment, but it's something you have to be aware of."

    Under the guidance of physiologist Steve Dank, the director of Manly's sports science department, the club has been at the forefront of technological and scientific development in the NRL, including the introduction of DNA testing of players, GPS tracking to monitor their performances at training and live video streaming of matches.

    The Sea Eagles also tried using a radical herbal supplement, Lact-Away, which is made from the bark of French pine and was initially an anti-inflammatory treatment for racehorses, until BSc objected three years ago.

    A former member of Manly's medical staff - strength and conditioning coach Dean Robinson - is now employed at Geelong.

    Bradshaw said he was aware of the Sea Eagles plans but said Geelong had not given any thought to following suit. "There is not much research out there on this so we wouldn't use it."

    Bradshaw said the substance had been used for muscle repair in the track-and-field world for more than a decade. Another club doctor said he had heard anecdotally a couple of AFL clubs had expressed interest in whether the substance could offer a performance boost to their players.

    "People always look for an advantage but this is experimental at this stage," he said.
  2. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Manly refuse to discuss their belief in bovine intervention

    Jacquelin Magnay | July 2, 2008
    MANLY have refused to provide information about the club's long-standing practice of injecting calves' blood extract to hasten players' recovery from injury.

    Yesterday coach Des Hasler said everything the club did stayed in-house, then flippantly added: "This club stays strictly within the guidelines set down by WADA and the NRL. We haven't been to East Germany and got leftover blood from 1976, brought it back and injected it back into the players."

    But the injections of such an exotic product illustrate the lengths to which players and clubs will go to prolong a career or quicken a return from injury. Insiders claim there are no disadvantages to taking the product, that "it definitely works" and the covert attitude to the injections at Manly is not a cover-up but a medical right to privacy.

    Calves' blood extract, marketed under the name Actovegin, is used by a handful of Sea Eagles players, especially when they suffer hamstring or Achilles tendon injuries. Yet the manufacturer claims, and anecdotal evidence from cyclists such as Jesus Manzano indicates, that Actovegin is an endurance booster - by promoting the uptake of glucose by muscle cells.

    The World Anti-Doping Agency does not include Actovegin on its list of banned products. But neither does it include Viagra, another drug that studies show promotes endurance in athletes at altitude and which is understood to be used by footballers to improve on-field performance.

    Somewhere there is an ethical and moral line that has to be drawn in the sand. Manly insiders say they haven't crossed that line because they haven't broken any rules and Actovegin is allowed by the sport drug authorities. The club has been able to source the product directly from a supplier in Australia while athletes from other codes have spent $20,000 flying to Germany for it.

    Manly have long been willing to test boundaries to extract the best from their players. In the past, they have used a drink called Lact-Away that claimed to reduce lactic acid build-up. Of late, the players have had DNA testing to determine the best nutritional and exercise regimes for them.

    Yesterday, the Herald put seven questions relating to Actovegin to Manly CEO Grant Mayer, who responded: "I will forward these questions on to the football department as they relate directly to football performance."

    Late last night, there had been no response.

    The Herald put the following questions on the issue of Actovegin to Manly CEO Grant Mayer, who passed them on to his football department. As of late last night, the questions were unanswered:

    Q What advantage do your players get from the product?

    Q How long has the club been using the product?

    Q Where do you get it from?

    Q Who injects the players and how often?

    Q How many players have been involved?

    Q Do you think the use of it crosses any ethical lines?

    Q Is the use of Actovegin covered by insurance?
  3. eggson

    eggson Well-Known Member

    +305 /2
    Those are the most ridiculous questions i've heard of.  Where did this all come from?  Is the media that desperate to show us in a bad light?  Oh no, it's just that wench Magnay.  Ethical and moral line?  she wouldn't know what that meant if they came up and shoved a cow in her stupid face.
  4. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

    +972 /7
    In the Manly Daily today Des has denied that the product is used. The SMH clearly states that it has been a 'long-standing practise' at Manly. There will be more out of this one.
  5. willstyles

    willstyles Active Member

    +4 /0
    Magnay is a known Manly hater. But she's a bloody good (if angry) journo.
  6. Jatz Crackers

    Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

    +1,475 /8
    Bloody good journo my freckled arse.

    Here are two quotes from articles with her name on them. There is 24 hours difference between the two of them.

    1) Manly eye calf blood jabs for finals push
    Brad Walter and Jacquelin Magnay | July 1, 2008

    "MANLY are considering using a controversial calves' blood extract"

    2) Manly refuse to discuss their belief in bovine intervention
    Jacquelin Magnay | July 2, 2008

    "MANLY have refused to provide information about the club's long-standing practice of injecting calves' blood extract"

    It is just not possible to go from considering use of something to it being a long standing practice in one day. (FMD). So in the space of 24 hours this dimwiited journo has managed to maliciously distort the facts in an effort to make her spurious allegations into some sort of headline story.

    The scandal is the fact she has a job. 
  7. Downie

    Downie Active Member

    +3 /0
    Apparently Magnay is my Dad's cousin.

    So I won't say anything in case she reads this forum and recognises the name  ;)
  8. Jatz Crackers

    Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

    +1,475 /8
    He should take over her job when its vacated  ;)
  9. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

    +516 /14
    How much is the BSc sponsorship worth?  Can't be much given the lack of profile they enjoy.  I wasn't even aware they were a sponsor.

    So basically, tell them to piss off!  We probably play some of our players more in one month than they sponsor us!

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