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Journal Article




Stephen Dank is a name that will now be forever linked to the doping scandals at Cronulla-Sutherland and Essendon which arguably represents the biggest ever story in Australian sports law. Part of that story are the numerous defamation actions Dank took against anyone he perceived to be making criticisms of him in the media. However, rather than restoring his reputation, it is suggested the defeats he suffered in court actually protected the reputations of those accused of defamation, while at the same time further damaging his own. At considerable expense, too, with costs being awarded against Dank on all occasions. The cases reinforced the principle that even if someone has contributed material, unless they have consented, or have control of the final version, they will not be held liable for what is said or written. Most significantly, however, was the insight the cases provided into what actually happened at Cronulla-Sutherland during its doping scandal.

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