Initial Plan To Interview All Players From '11 Sharks Season Scaled Back
The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority remains prepared to interview any National Rugby League Cronulla player "willing to give evidence into investigations into alleged drug use at the club in 2011, but has scrapped plans to question every member of the club's squad that season," according to Brad Walter of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Despite "being given the green light by NRL CEO Dave Smith to resume interviews with Cronulla players after a legal dispute" over the level of co-operation provided by Cronulla's Wade Graham, ASADA has advised the Sharks' lawyers they do not plan to do so. The shock move fueled "speculation in league circles on Sunday that ASADA was either close to laying charges against players or conceding defeat in the doping scandal." ASADA "will now focus more on other lines of inquiry as the first interview with Graham proved fruitless and investigators believe their resources can be better utilised elsewhere" (SMH, 5/13). In Melbourne, Brent Read reported Cronulla captain Paul Gallen "reacted with ambivalence to the developments." Gallen and his teammates were informed via text messages from Cronulla CEO Steve Noyce but know "full well that ASADA is likely to resume interviews at some point down the track" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 5/13).
SUSPICION REGARDING BOCK: Also in Melbourne, Carly Crawford reported Australian Football League Gold Coast player Nathan Bock "is embroiled in the drugs-in-sport investigation because of concerns he may have been given banned peptides." Bock was allegedly given a substance described to him as an amino acid that was cleared for athletes to use. Bock is the Australian Football League player being investigated by the AFL and the ASADA (HERALD SUN, 5/13).
ACC SEEKING HELP: In Melbourne, Sean Parnell reported the Australian Crime Commission "wants a range of high-powered law enforcement bodies to help embattled anti-doping officials deal with drugs in sport." With the ASADA under pressure to demonstrate the results of its investigation into "the major football codes, the ACC has been building a broader network of police and government officials behind the scenes to help safeguard the integrity of the sport" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 5/13).