Warriors expect a clean slate

By Steve Deane

Club's sport science focus is on equipment and analysis rather than chemistry.

Wayne Scurrah says there are no practices at the Warriors that the club is concerned about. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Wayne Scurrah says there are no practices at the Warriors that the club is concerned about. Photo / Sarah Ivey

He's confident the Warriors won't be implicated in the drug scandal rocking Australian sport, but chief executive Wayne Scurrah can't categorically state that no players from the club will be linked to an investigation that claims performance-enhancing drug use is rife in the NRL.

"We've had no advice of any sort about the club or players that have been implicated," Mr Scurrah said. "Certainly there's nothing to be alarmed about that we are aware of."

Australian media have reported that six NRL clubs and a number of individuals, including at least one star player, are at the centre of an investigation by the Australian Crime Commission into the use of peptides - new-generation drugs that boost the body's production of human growth hormone.

The investigation claims to have uncovered evidence of systematic doping programmes at unidentified sports clubs, with the role of sports scientists and conditioning staff coming under scrutiny.

Mr Scurrah pointed out that a review into last season's poor performance by the Warriors highlighted an under-investment in sports science. That had been addressed this season, with the club spending heavily in an attempt to match its rivals on the increasingly vital sports science front. However, the spending had been targeted at equipment and analysis rather than chemistry.

The club declined a request to make head trainer Carl Jennings available for an interview to discuss its supplement regime.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has called upon those involved to come clean. However, as of yesterday, the National Rugby League had still not informed clubs and players implicated in the year-long investigation.

The NRL said it was still working through the legal complexities surrounding the forwarding of information contained in the report, which it expected to complete in the next couple of days.

The NRL was establishing a formal set of procedures for delivering the information, said chief executive Dave Smith.

It had no plans to reveal the names of players or clubs implicated in the investigation.

"This will be a matter for the individual clubs to consider in consultation with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, the crime commission and the NRL," Mr Smith said.

While Mr Scurrah indicated the Warriors weren't expecting to be implicated, he couldn't be certain that was the case, and couldn't vouch for every individual.

"People don't live their whole lives at the club," he said. "It's a place of employment. What I can say is that we are confident there are no practices at the club we are concerned about."

Drug test results were confidential but Mr Scurrah was not aware of any failed tests during his six years at the Warriors.

"We've never had anything in that area to worry about during my time at the club."

He was hopeful the identity of those involved would be revealed soon.

"We're very keen to see the details come out so we can get on with preparing for the season. The sooner the better as far as we are concerned."

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- NZ Herald

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