The performance enhancing drug scandal from 2012 that decimated the Essendon Bombers in 2016 is still alive in 2018, which makes it reasonable to wonder if the incident will ever fade completely away.

To recap briefly, 34 Bombers were found guilty of using a banned peptide called Thymosin beta-4 by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Here’s the kicker that has the topic once again in the news.

Former AFL Chairman Michael Fitzpatrick has recently come out as saying that the substance was, “Almost certainly performance enhancing.”

“My point of view is that it was almost certainly performance enhancing,” Fitzpatrick said on Fox Footy’s Open Mike. “But even if it wasn’t, the penalty in the end that the AFL put on Essendon was to do with duty of care and the general behaviour towards the players. You couldn’t be totally certain (the substances were performance enhancing). They either didn’t know what was in it or if they did know, they weren’t going to say.”

Sounds remarkably like some of the substances to which we subjected ourselves during those halcyon days of university. Days in the distant past, although much the same could be said of the prescription medication that is doled out to us like candy under the guise of enhancing our lives. Some days, it seems to help, other days…

We certainly do not know for certain what is in them, other than to accept on faith the claims of the manufacturers. Some of the names almost make Thymosin beta-4 sound like a vitamin by comparison and the list of side effects makes the cure sound much worse than the disease.

Essendon finished the 2012 season 11th on the ladder, so whatever it was they were pumping into their veins, they should seek a refund to help defray the cost of the $2 million fine the AFL levied on Essendon in 2013.

The Bombers are worse off this year, 15th after the first eight rounds of the Toyota 2018 AFL Premiership competition, but their bodily fluids are purer than the tap water in Toowoomba.

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