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PROTRACK » GENERAL » David Culbert explains why Jobe Watson should be stood down immediately

David Culbert explains why Jobe Watson should be stood down immediately

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From the Australian on Wednesday - Dave Culbert's take on the Jobe Watson drug taking admission on Fox Footy. Just about sums up the hypocrisy of 'footy people' who love to point the finger at others outside of the AFL or in other countries, but when it's in their own backyard it's a different story.


David Culbert explains why Jobe Watson should be stood down immediately

by:David Culbert
From:Herald Sun
June 26, 2013


IF JOBE Watson was supposed to ride the Tour de France, he wouldn't be on the starting line this weekend.

So he shouldn't play footy on Thursday night, either.

It's that simple.

Of course, he's entitled to have justice run its course and there well may be circumstances that later exonerate Watson.

But for now, the facts are cut and dried. He's an athlete who has admitted to taking a drug that's banned by WADA.

He has to be stood down until the ASADA investigation runs its course - or we're told why he's able to play.

According to Essendon and James Hird, when the facts come out, the truth is told and the story unfolds, the Bombers will be able to speak freely.

But the time for talking is right now.

By most international sports' guidelines, his admission is akin to a positive "A sample'' and that's a flag that usually triggers an athlete to be stood down.

I'm bemused that we don't have the explanation as to why that's not the case here.

Dons in the dark on Watson

Obviously, there's a big question mark over anti-obesity drugs and it appears Essendon is of the view it has been told the substance is OK. But WADA says it's banned - and has been since 1 January 2011.

Let's say a player from another club was On The Couch on Monday night and said, 'You know what? Last week, I took nandrolone'. Is he playing this week? Clearly not.

And at the base level, there's no difference.

As someone involved in clean sports performance, and to have that close to my heart, I'm now going to be watching Jobe Watson running around and saying, 'Hang on, why is he out there?'.

Until his name is cleared, he shouldn't be.

Because, by his own admission, he's lost the right to participate against other clean athletes when he's admitted to taking a banned substance.

In Essendon's own inquiry, "pharmacologically experimental environment'' were the words Ziggy Switkowski returned - and on face value, that's as close to East Germany or Lance Armstrong as you can get.

It's part of footy's tribalism and the "duffel coat syndrome'' that people make different assessments of similar situations.

And all along we react differently to our own heroes.

Sam Riley - "what a darling''. Shane Warne - "his mum gave him a tablet''.

We just don't want to hear it.

I was a roommate of Dean Capobianco and he's a cracking fella. Matt White is a sensational bloke and Marion Jones is one of the most engaging, lovely people you'll ever meet.

Cheat, cheat, cheat.

They may or may not have intended it, but that's how they're now branded.

As we've seen repeatedly when there's a prize, people will do all sorts of things to try to get it.

In sport, as much as you'd like to, you just can't judge a book by its cover.

You've got to put personality aside.

And I'd say 95 per cent of athletes, no, make that 99 per cent, who test positive say `It's not my fault'.

In some of these cases it might not be - but it doesn't matter.

If it's in your system, you are responsible, whether or not it came via a team, a doctor or a scientist.

Let's make up our mind about the Brownlow when the ASADA investigation ends.

But for now, if the AFL is serious about its gold-standard drug testing program we keep hearing about, there is no other choice than for Watson to be on the sidelines.

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