Raider Earl reacts to Sharks doping scandal
Raiders winger Sandor Earl says the Cronulla Sharks drugs scandal has cast a shadow over the NRL only hours before the season kicks-off.
Up to 14 Sharks players are under investigation by the Anti Sports Anti Doping Authorit for the use of performance-enhancing drugs and could face bans from six months up to two years.
The Raiders were one of six clubs named in the Australian Crime Commission report, but no action has yet been taken.
Earl was confident the Raiders wouldn't be implicated in the wake of Wednesday's revelations.
''I don't think there's any nerves, if you're going to read into it it's not going to be healthy,'' he said.
''We're all just focused on our football, and if something does come up for anyone, hopefully it's dealt with properly and things can carry on.
''I'm more disappointed stuff like this is disrupting, not for any club or individual but for the NRL.
''It'd be great if we were just talking about football, but that's not the case.''
The Sharks players met with ASADA on Tuesday night and were advised if they came forward they would get a reduced six-month ban, compared to a two-year suspension if they plead their innocence and are found later to be guilty.
All betting for the Sharks v Titans match on Sunday has been suspended, but the game will definitely go ahead irrespective of the decision.
Earl said the Raiders players haven't had any additional contact with ASADA since they were spoken to last month.
He also said doping tests have continued as normal and haven't been increased.
The news of the Sharks' doping scandal has taken the shine off Thursday night's season opener between the Sydney Roosters and South Sydney.
Raiders prop Dane Tilse was hopeful the incident was isolated to the Sharks and wasn't widespread among other clubs, especially his own.
''It was a bit shocking yesterday so we'll have to wait and see,'' Tilse said.
''To be honest, it (the Raiders being named in the ACC report) hasn't been on our mind.
''We don't think we've got too much of a worry, we should be right.''
The Raiders begin their campaign with a road trip to the foot of the mountains to take on the Penrith Panthers on Sunday.
Fullback Josh Dugan (infected lip) and centre Jarrod Croker (knee) trained with the squad on Thursday morning in a bid to prove their fitness to be late inclusions.
Outside back Reece Robinson also trained after missing Wednesday's session with a back spasm.
If all three are passed fit, Robinson will shift to the wing, with young guns Jack Wighton and Edrick Lee to drop out of the squad.
Raiders coach David Furner will decide after training on Thursday afternoon whether the trio will make the trip to Penrith.
Prop Brett White was named as 18th man, and is likely to drop out of the squad and play for NSW Cup affiliate Mounties to gain match fitness.