New legislation enabling the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority to demand documents from athletes or others involved in an investigation has been described as a ”game changer” in the case against NRL and AFL players.

While players will still have the right not to incriminate themselves, ASADA can compel them to attend interviews and to hand over records of text messages and emails.

Under the wider powers granted to ASADA, anyone who does not comply with a disclosure notice issued by chief executive Aurora Andruska faces a fine of up to $5100.

Controversial sports scientist Stephen Dank, who appears to be a central figure in the investigation into doping in Australian sport, is known to have a large record of text messages with coaches and players.

Dank, who has been involved with Manly, Cronulla and AFL club Essendon, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Fairfax Media columnist and Channel Nine reporter Danny Weidler has reported seeing six months of text messages between Dank and Essendon coach James Hird.

He described the messages as ”detailed in the extreme, with names of players littered throughout the exchanges” and also wrote there were ”numerous mentions of supplements and processes”.

Text messages also revealed a link between Dank and the Melbourne Demons, and News Ltd reported this month that ASADA was aware of hundreds of text messages exchanged between Dank and NRL players.

NSW and Sharks captain Paul Gallen and Canberra centre Sandor Earl, who has been accused of using peptides to treat a shoulder injury while playing for Penrith, are reportedly among them.

ASADA has conducted interviews with 113 players and coaching staff from both codes since the investigation began, but Cronulla’s Wade Graham is the only NRL player known to have been questioned. The interviews stopped after Graham, as lawyers for the Sharks’ players successfully argued they did not have to answer questions that may incriminate them.

Under the new legislation, passed by federal Parliament’s upper house with amendments on Monday night, the players will have the same rights.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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