Latest News

Back to Latest News back


NRL players accept bans in ASADA inquiry

NRL players accept bans in ASADA inquiry
August 23, 2014
Legal / Sport /

New South Wales State of Origin captain Paul Gallen is among a group of former and current Cronulla Sharks rugby league players that have accepted an Australian Sport Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) offer of a reduced ban for their part in the club's supplement scandal.

ASADA announced on Wednesday (21st August) that a total of 17 past and present Sharks players were handed show cause notices in relation to allegations of taking prohibited substances in 2011.

A Cronulla official says captain Gallen will be unavailable for selection this weekend "because of the ASADA process."

Gallen told Channel Nine he was ready to be branded a drug cheat, saying he will let people make up their own mind after accepting ASADA's deal.

Gallen, who had previously denied taking prohibited substances, stated "People can have their own opinion. Life goes on and the sun is going to come up tomorrow.

"There are plenty of people worse off than me. You've just got to get on with life. I'll let people make up their own mind.

Players had until 9.30am on Friday to accept a reduced one-year suspension backdated to November 2013, meaning the players will only miss the remaining games from this season and be free to start next season.

The NRL has stepped in and immediately suspended those players who accepted ASADA’s ban, preventing them from playing this weekend and for the remainder of the 2014 competition.

The majority of the players, including Gallen, Nathan Gardner, Wade Graham and Anthony Tupou, have accepted the reduced-ban offer.

Newcastle's Jeremy Smith and Kade Snowden have accepted their three-month bans, while Titans half-back Albert Kelly and prop Luke Douglas plus North Queensland centre Matthew Wright have also accepted their bans.

While most players will effectively serve a three-match club ban, Gallen and Smith will miss the Four Nations tournament for Australia and New Zealand.

Commenting on the suspensions, NRL Chief Executive Dave Smith said the suspensions would bring an end to a long and difficult investigation for the players, their families and the NRL.
Smith explained “there is no room for illegal substances in rugby league and the NRL will take whatever action is necessary to protect the integrity of the game.
“In this case, the evidence supports the fact that players were misled about the nature of the substances administered to them by people at the Club who they should have been able to trust.
“The suspensions recognise the fact that the players were misled, that the investigation has been ongoing for the past 18 months and that players made timely admissions after being provided with evidence earlier this week.
“But, the players, coaches, staff and administrators are on notice that we have a zero tolerance to breaches of the anti-doping policy.
“Every player needs to be aware that they have to take responsibility for every substance they use and if they want to take a risk with prohibited substances there will be serious consequences.”
Smith said the NRL had already put in place a range of measures - led by the Integrity Unit - to detect and deter doping breaches in the future.

Other new measures include requiring: 

• Club medical, football and coaching staff to be registered and accredited.  This means anyone who is regularly involved with players and can influence their welfare is accountable and bound by the NRL’s Rules. The new accreditation process would ensure the NRL never allows Stephen Dank to have further involvement in the game.

• Doctors to report direct to the Club’s Chief Executive Officer and not the head coach.  Club doctors must also report regularly and independently to the Club’s board of directors.

• All supplements provided to players must be approved by a Supplements Committee Chaired by the Club Doctor.

Smith said the NRL now has one of the most comprehensive drug testing programs in Australian sport.


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Jonas Leisure

JonasLeisure offers a complete range of leading leisure and recreation software brands – envibe, Centaman, Gladstone Health & Leisure, The Retention People, Nutrition Complete and…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Fitness / Recreation / Sport


XBODY Australia Pty Ltd

PROVEN BUSINESS CONCEPTS WITH XBODY XBody’s goal is to see you and your EMS business succeed. That is why we don’t just sell equipment, we provide know-how, expert knowledge,…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


Abel Sports

INTRODUCTION Abel Sports is Australia’s leading manufacturer and suppliers of Goal Posts, sports ground safety netting systems and coaches boxes for Stadiums ,Sports Clubs, Councils and…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Venues


Aflex Inflatables

Aflex Inflatables are the leaders for obstacle courses, pool toys, waterparks and land-based watersides and fitness runs. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks



Developed in Europe, this innovative system offers a safety management solution for swimming pools that checks individual swimmers via their wristband - monitoring their depth and time. Sensors…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Safety / Technology / Waterparks


The Jump Pad

The Jump Pad is a safe, flat inflatable made in a variety of sizes which can be used indoor or outdoor. From 3mx3m up to a whopping 9mx21m. Markets include Indoor and outdoor playgrounds, schools,…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Play



Technogym is the leading company in the Wellness and Fitness field all over the world. With 2,200 employees, 14 branches in Europe, U.S., South America, Asia  and Australia, Technogym exports its…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness



iEDM integrate Design, Engineering and Delivery Management services to convert existing spaces into exciting new entertainment venues. Our team consists of highly qualified professionals with diverse…

read more

Consultants / Design


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business