Cronulla Sharks Contest National Rugby League's Provisional Sanctions
National Rugby League side Cronulla "will formally respond to the NRL accusation that it acted too slowly in stopping a supplements program that exposed players to potential health risks," according to Margie McDonald of THE AUSTRALIAN. Seven breaches of the NRL code of conduct by the Sharks "were identified by the league's Integrity Unit" when it issued a preliminary fine of A$1M in mid-December. The most serious of those was allowing "persons without the necessary qualifications and training" to inject players with supplements in late '10 and early '11 (THE AUSTRALIAN, 1/29). In Sydney, Adrian Proszenko reported Cronulla will risk being a further A$400,000 ($351,000) out of pocket by "contesting the provisional sanctions the NRL imposed upon them over the supplements scandal." If the provisional findings are upheld, the club will be fined A$1M, with A$400,000 suspended if the club "satisfies several conditions, including the completion of an independent review and further governance changes." By fighting the sanction, the Sharks "risk being slugged the full amount." Upon learning of the NRL's provisional findings on Dec. 17, Cronulla officials stated it was ''our intention to vigorously defend the charges.'' The NRL gave the affected parties until Wednesday to respond (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 1/29).