Shane Flanagan looks on during the NRL Trial match against Wests Tigers Feb. 22.
National Rugby League CEO Dave Smith has upheld the suspension of Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan, canceled the registration of Trent Elkin and fined the club A$1M ($900,000) over its supplements program, according to FAIRFAX AUSTRALIA. The NRL "has rejected an appeal" from Flanagan and Elkin and "imposed the original suspensions handed down in December." Smith "stood by his original decision when he fronted the media on Wednesday afternoon on the eve of the season opener, rejecting the appeals that were submitted." Smith: ''Having thoroughly and carefully reviewed their submissions we have today advised the club, Mr Flanagan and Mr Elkin of my final determinations" (FAIRFAX AUSTRALIA, 3/5
). In Sydney, Adrian Proszenko reported Flanagan "will appeal" against his NRL ban in a bid to return this season. Flanagan: "I resolutely assert my innocence of any wrongdoing whatsoever. One thing is for sure, I am going to fight this decision until I am exonerated and my reputation is totally restored. I followed the practice that has been historically followed by the Sharks, that is I was not involved, consulted or responsible for supplements in 2011 or at any other time" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 3/6
). In Sydney, Proszenko also wrote Cronulla faces "the prospect of expulsion from this year's finals series if they fail to overhaul their governance structures to the satisfaction of the NRL." Edicts from the league include: "the completion of an independent governance review; an assessment of the club's risk and control reporting framework; appointment of additional resources to the football department; compliance with new supplement and medication rules." Smith indicated the Sharks were ''on track'' to comply and that they had ''significantly improved the compliance regime in the last few months'' (SMH, 3/6