Former Essendon assistant coach Mark ‘Bomber’ Thompson says he can’t move past the supplements saga that rocked the football world in 2013, and believes the entire scandal will one day lead to his death.
Thompson was the keynote speaker at a Law Institute of Victoria panel discussion about drugs in sport on Thursday morning, and opened up about several different topics relating to the scandal.
Fairfax reported he revealed to the panel the saga likely led to the breakdown of his second marriage which ended last year, and admitted he doesn’t have a love for the game anymore, and doesn’t want to be in the AFL system ever again.
“I find it amazing when the AFL says the integrity of the competition and the safety and welfare of the players are the two pillars that will be front of mind,” Thompson said.
“I know more of what happened than probably most people, I’ve read that much about what was going on – it’s incredible.
“And it just sits in my guts and churns and it still does and it’s going to probably end up killing me because I can’t let it go. People tell me I’ve got to let it go, but I can’t.
“I know what happened. I know that there were things that were added to the report, things were taken out of the report not to be seen.
“I’m quite bitter and twisted and I think I have got the right to be. I don’t like the game any more, I don’t want to work in the AFL system, I don’t want to associate with people. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is.
“I’ve lost my love for it, which is a shame because I’m a bloody good coach. It’s a shame they could do this to people. They’ve got no right to do this to people – you don’t not give people a chance to defend themselves, and that’s what they’ve done.
“I lost my wife because of it, I reckon, because I was up at night reading about all my exploits on the internet, catching up on tomorrow’s news as it came out.”
Bomber can’t understand how the full truth to the saga hasn’t been revealed yet, and believes many people involved are still trying to hide the facts.
Thompson also opened up about the hiring of disgraced sports scientist Stephen Dank, saying the club should have never employed him in the first place.
“When we interviewed Dank for the position, there were a few people in the room who didn’t want him, and there were a couple who did and he ended up getting the job,” he said.
“He probably shouldn’t have got the job in the first place because he shouldn’t have been allowed to work at Essendon because he had actually been known to have WADA-prohibited substances used and bought on his patients in his clinics.
“The WADA rule says that anyone who has any dealings with that is not allowed to work in the sporting field – AFL included. So the fact that he worked for the AFL’s club Gold Coast a year before he came to Essendon is a problem in itself, isn’t it? If they had been diligent and stopped him from working there, I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have employed him.”