Doping Probe Into Sydney Roosters Ceased

The integrity unit of National Rugby League has ceased anti-doping investigations into the Sydney Roosters, according to NRL chief executive Dave Smith. Smith, speaking at the Men of League’s annual luncheon in Brisbane, remarked expected the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority would not pursue the matter further.

Smith added he did not expect the club or its players to face any sanction for a doping-related matter and added we became aware earlier in the year of the issues being reported (on the Sydney Roosters) and that information has been with ASADA for some time too.

Roosters went into trouble after some of their players returned elevated Human Growth Hormone (HGH) levels in an unsanctioned test. A report by Fairfax Media revealed that six Roosters players returned blood test results with elevated readings for HGH. The team, two days before their preliminary final against Newcastle, remarked that it had sacked a sports nutrition company when six of its players returned tests with elevated readings for HGH. Nubodi, the company, was hired at the end of last year for helping fine tune detox diets for players before being dismissed in January. Nubodi Group boss Sean Carolan has denied providing HGH to Sydney Roosters’ players and claimed his work with the team was confined to dietary advice based on blood pathology.

NRL chief operating officer Jim Doyle expressed concerns that the blood tests of players including Boyd Cordner, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, and Sam Moa ending up on the mobile phone of an alleged crime figure raised concerns.

In a statement, the Sydney Roosters remarked there had been “full voluntary disclosure” with the integrity unit over the matter and they had not received any contact from Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority about the matter. The statement also revealed that players have been regularly and extensively tested throughout the season by ASADA and the club has fully cooperated with the organization’s routine tests as is the case with all clubs and the team reinforce that the club maintains the absolute highest standards in its own policies and governance and, as a club, we have nothing to hide.

Roosters’ chief operating officer Brian Canavan however remarked that we were very unhappy that the extended (blood) testing was conducted. It was done without our knowledge. He went on to remark that the players thought they were being tested for conventional nutrition tests and the tests results came back to us and the growth hormone levels were indicated on the test results. Canavan added we did not order those through this company and once all this unfolded he wrote a report to the NRL integrity unit and what the integrity unit did from there I’m not sure. Canavan said the Roosters had no case to answer and added the couple of players who had elevated readings were tested again by our club doctor and those readings were perfectly normal and some tests were done which were parts of a normal nutrition test that the athletes undergo.

In a preliminary final, the team will take on Newcastle on Saturday night with the winner to progress to the grand final on October 6.

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