Wild rumors linking Socceroos to banned substances have a rotten AFL feel

Socceroos manager Graham Arnold has laughed at a social media rumor linking the Australian team to a doping scandal.

In fact, the rumor – which has been circulating on Arab social media platforms – suggested 34 Australians have tested positive for a banned substance and Tunisia could return to the Group of 16 as FIFA prepares to give the Socceroos the to give boots.

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Arnold has called social media “shit” and previously said it could have killed Australia’s World Cup campaign.

“If I learned one thing at the Olympics, it was after a big win against Argentina that there was too much celebration,” Arnold told reporters a few days ago.

“And that celebration, I’m sorry, is social media. They do this until four or five in the morning, looking at all the great comments and enjoying all that shit, if I may say so.

“It affects players, it affects their sleep patterns… it’s killing us. Just get rid of it and don’t look at it.”

With that in mind, it was no wonder Arnold was unprepared for this question posed in a media conference ahead of the Australia-Argentina game – not only that, the question was also asked in Arabic.

It came from a Tunisian journalist and he was asking about players who tested positive for a banned substance.

Australia coach Graham Arnold reacts during a media conference ahead of his side’s round of 16 match against Argentina. Recognition: Christopher Lee/Getty Images

With the help of a translation listener, Arnold was completely shocked when the question got through.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.

In a surprising twist, the rumor was sparked by a story from 2014 and the Australian team in question was AFL team Essendon.

In 2013, in what was then known as the “Supplements saga,” then-coach James Hird was banned from the AFL for 12 months and the AFL fined the club $2 million. The Bombers were also kicked out of that year’s finals series and the players were later given a 12-month ban.

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Sports scientist Stephen Dank, who oversaw the dietary supplement program, was found guilty by an AFL tribunal in 2015 of trafficking a number of illegal dietary supplements. The tribunal also banned Dank from any association with the AFL for life.

Essendon hasn’t been the same since then. The Socceroos, on the other hand, are firing and fortunately have little to do with social media since Arnold’s words of wisdom.

It has since been reported that “websites in Arab countries such as misbar.com have denounced the claims”.

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https://7news.com.au/sport/wild-rumor-linking-socceroos-to-banned-substance-has-fishy-afl-feel-about-it-c-9049660 Wild rumors linking Socceroos to banned substances have a rotten AFL feel

James Brien

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