Todd Carney has slammed Twitter-led rumours that he failed a drugs test and revealed that the speculation became so strong sponsors were threatening to dump him and pull out of contracts with Cronulla.
Sharks coach Shane Flanagan came out last weekend in support of his colourful playmaker, who has a history of off-field issues, and Carney admitted he was taken aback at how far the rumours had spread and thanked the club for backing him.
The NSW star used Twitter to quash the rumours last week, but spoke candidly yesterday about the situation that had threatened to engulf him and the Sharks.
"It was a bit of a bother," Carney said.
"I was getting phone calls from close friends, which I can deal with, but it is when sponsors start ringing up the club - that's concerning.
"I was quite shocked that someone could make up something like that. I tweeted last week that surely they could think of something better.
"It's just stupid, because I hadn't even been tested in that time since February so it was just wrong and disgraceful."
The rumour first surfaced during the State of Origin series, and Carney said he was happy to ignore it and let it go away.
"But it kept coming back and coming back and I had sponsors approaching me. And they are sponsors that have helped me get through football. They are also club sponsors and that is what keeps clubs and teams afloat.
"That was when the time was right to get it out and put it to bed."