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Dank's AFL appeal adjourned to December 1

AAP logoAAP 20/11/2016 Roger Vaughan and Jason Phelan

Controversial sports scientist Stephen Dank says he intends to front the AFL appeals board and believes he can still clear the 34 banned Essendon players.

Dank did not attend Monday's opening day of his appeal against a lifetime ban for doping offences.

Instead, Dank sent a letter to the appeals board through his former lawyers, saying he could not attend because of a family medical emergency.

But a defiant Dank vowed late on Monday that he still intends to appear and that Jobe Watson would have his surrendered Brownlow Medal back by the time his hearing is over.

"My most desired outcome, of course, is for everyone to be cleared," Dank said on FiveAA.

"Unfortunately players have served suspensions so that time can't be given back to the players ... but I think by the time we've finished this hearing Jobe will have his Brownlow back ... I've got no problems with that."

Watson was one of 34 past and present Bombers players banned for the 2016 season for violations of the anti-doping code arising from the club's 2012 supplements program, overseen by Dank.

Watson's returned Brownlow Medal was awarded to Richmond's Trent Cotchin and Sam Mitchell - then with Hawthorn - by the AFL commission last week.

Lawyers representing the AFL and ASADA could barely contain their scorn at Dank's late request to adjourn, saying the appeal should be thrown out.

After deliberating behind closed doors for half an hour, the three-man board said it would adjourn until December 1.

By 5pm this Friday, Dank also must provide details about the medical emergency including the hospital, the date of his relative's admission and a report from the treating doctor.

Dank said he would have no issue producing such documentation but expressed disappointment that the reason for his request had been made public.

Dank's former lawyers submitted a letter on Sunday morning, explaining he could not attend.

"We note it was Mr Dank's intention to appear in person, lead evidence and make oral submissions," the letter on behalf of Dank said.

"Unfortunately Mr Dank has contacted the writer ... distraught about the urgent admission of a family member into hospital.

"The condition of this family member is life-threatening and requires Mr Dank to be by their side."

But the AFL and ASADA lawyers at the hearing were unimpressed.

"There is no court in the state that would've tolerated the way in which Dank has conducted this case and himself throughout this process," AFL counsel Renee Enbom said in her submission.

"I don't think anyone from this bar table was surprised to receive yesterday's email. I checked my emails ... waiting for the 11th hour request to adjourn this appeal again. It arrived on Sunday morning.

"I don't think anyone at this table really expected Mr Dank to prosecute his appeal. He's done just enough every time to keep it alive.

"It is time to bring this process to an end. Everyone involved, including the players, are entitled to some finality."

Enbom also detailed several instances where she said Dank had not complied with the appeal process.

She added Dank had sent emails with a threatening tone to parties involved in the appeal and said he had shown the process little respect.

Dank is a key figure in the Essendon supplements saga.

He was banned for life from working in any sport here or overseas after the AFL anti-doping tribunal found him guilty of 10 anti-doping code breaches.

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