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Australian Rugby League's Cronulla Sharks Could Be First Victim Of Drug Probe
Published March 7, 2013
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ON THE DOTTED LINE: In Melbourne, Carayannis & Walter reported a lawyer, hired by Cronulla to negotiate with ASADA, went to the meeting "with documents already prepared for the players to sign, admitting to the use of performance-enhancing drugs." The players were told that if they signed the documents "they would not face further sanctions and would remain employed by the club." But if they did not sign, they would "open themselves up to the possibility of longer suspensions." The players "refused to sign" (THE AGE, 3/7).
GROWING CONCERN: In Sydney, Andrew Webster reported fears Cronulla's first match of the season against the Gold Coast Titans "could be abandoned because they could not field a team." Coach Shane Flanagan "denied" the claim. Fox Sports "was not commenting" Wednesday night, although the broadcaster "had not even had a discussion with the NRL about what would happen if the game did not proceed" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 3/7). Also in Sydney, Josh Massoud reported "there are also concerns the net could be widened to implicate ex-Cronulla players who have since moved to other clubs." Sources stated as many as 22 players across the code "are under the spotlight." A Sharks source said that the players implicated in the scandal were "concerned, rattled and distressed." The source said, "They had no reason to question the club and its performance staff about what supplements they were taking. They trusted that what they were being given was safe" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 3/7).
GOING TO COURT? In Sydney, Walter & Jackson reported Cronulla players are "believed to be considering legal action if they are suspended." Sharks players "were given Thymosin Beta 4 and CJC-1295 peptides" during the '11 season. If the players were to be suspended, the players "might sue the club, claiming to have been told the substances were legal" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 3/7).