Cronulla Legal Advisor Says Players Could Have 'Arguable Defence' Amid Doping Scandal
National Rugby League Cronulla Sharks' legal advisor Alan Sullivan "has indicated that Sharks players may have an arguable defence if they are charged by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority for alleged offences in 2011," according to Stuart Honeysett of THE AUSTRALIAN. It has been reported up to 14 players "face bans from six months to two years if found guilty of taking banned substances, including horse drugs," in '11 when controversial sports scientist Stephen Dank was at the club. Sullivan, who "raised the glimmer of hope on Sydney" said, "I think the players may have an arguable defense. We don't know everything ASADA has got but it is critical to the ASADA case that they prove the substances were prohibited" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 3/13).
NEW FIGURE IN PROBE: In Sydney, Josh Massoud reported a mystery assistant of Dank "has emerged as the key figure in ASADA's probe" into Cronulla and NRL Manly Sea Eagles. Dank "didn't work alone during his six-year tenure at Brookvale." He engaged the help of an alleged supplement expert known among players and coaching staff as "The Gazelle." According to a former Manly player, who Monday spoke on the condition of anonymity, "The Gazelle" had links to a large national supplement retailer. It's believed former Head Coach Des Hasler "warned him away from the club before Dank's departure at the end of 2010." But concerns are rife that "The Gazelle" stayed in contact with certain players and Manly "could face difficulties should it be established they used, purchased or possessed banned supplements with his assistance" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 3/12).
UNITED FRONT: Also in Sydney, James Hooper reported three Manly players "are in the crosshairs of anti-doping authorities over banned performance-enhancing peptide CJC-1295." ASADA has told the Sea Eagles that "there is evidence to suggest three NRL stars face bans of up to two years" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 3/12). In Sydney, Daniel Lane wrote Manly players and coach Geoff Toovey "presented a united front on Tuesday when they said there was no reason for them to fear the anti-doping investigation that threatens to destroy Cronulla" (SMH, 3/13).