JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Gallen hits out at NRL's lack of support for Cronulla players over ASADA investigation

Sudden impact: Paul Gallen says the stress of the ASADA probe forced him to put family plans on hold.

Sudden impact: Paul Gallen says the stress of the ASADA probe forced him to put family plans on hold. Photo: Getty Images

On the eve of arguably the biggest moment in Paul Gallen's career, the Blues skipper has hit out at the NRL, saying they have done "basically nothing" for Cronulla players and that his teammates were suffering with mental health issues after the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's investigation into the club.

A candid Gallen also revealed that the investigation had taken a personal toll and prevented him from having his third child with wife Anne.

Revelations that Essendon players received show-cause notices from ASADA last week has again put Gallen and Cronulla in the spotlight. Gallen said the mental welfare of Sharks teammates and officials was his greatest concern.

"I don't think any of the players aren't worried about [ASADA's investigations]," Gallen said. "The NRL has had the biggest [mental health concern] in history right under its nose and basically done nothing about it. That's very, very frustrating for me because what I have seen some young guys go through the past 17 or 18 months has been disgraceful. They're still going through it, we still don't know what's going on.

"Some very young guys, what they have had to go through, has been too much. As far as I am concerned, there has been very little help.

"We have had players medicated, we have had staff and officials who have been hospitalised. It's terrible."

Gallen was reluctant to speak about his dealings with the NRL but said he had "done everything" to resolve the investigations into his club's supplements program from 2011.

An NRL spokesman said officials had met with the Sharks players “many times” and offered counselling and that the NRL fund a welfare manager at Cronulla and the 15 other NRL clubs.

“As recently as last week the NRL offered assistance to deal with any anxiety among the Sharks players following the Essendon developments,” the spokesman said. “The club advised us that the players were unanimously of the view that they wanted to focus on improving their on-field performance and did not need any assistance.

“The message from the players has always been that they simply want this matter brought to a conclusion. The NRL agrees that the process has taken too long and we would also like to see the matter concluded.”

ASADA boss Ben McDevitt said last week that Cronulla's circumstances were different to that of Essendon. However, it is believed that a decision on whether to issue show-cause notices to Cronulla players may be made before the end of the month.

Gallen said he had essentially been living in fear since the Sharks were dragged into the investigation after the "blackest day for Australian sport" news conference in February last year.

"I would have had another kid by now if this wasn't going on," Gallen said. "It's been horrendous, it's been disgraceful.

"Last year was so intense with it all and this year it seems to come up every couple of weeks. When it comes up, you're like 'here we go, is it coming tomorrow?'

"It has been a real shame it has become a part of life and, every time it comes up, I just wait for the next phone call or the cameras to be in my face because, at the end of the day, no one is worried [about] some of the lesser named players at Cronulla. They're concerned about me, which has been the most frustrating thing from day one."

Sharks players were told as far back as last March to consider accepting a six-month suspension or risk a potential two-year ban.

Gallen said despite the drawn-out investigations he was no clearer to an outcome.

"This is as honest answer as I can give, from day one, from the time Cronulla got brought into it which was a week or so after that press conference, I don't know anything," Gallen said. 

"Nothing has changed for me. I have been told to turn up to a meeting. I turned up at that meeting. Other than that, I don't know anything. We don't know anything, our lawyers don't know anything. We literally do not know what is going to happen.”

Cronulla chairman Damian Keogh added: ''That's a major part which I just think has been lost in this whole thing, player welfare, player anxiety and all those things. Also, it's something that our supporters have gone through."

74 comments

  • Complete load of self serving tripe by Gallen. All the talk about the poor players having to be medicated because of stress etc. Perhaps if they hadn't been "medicating" before hand then they wouldn't be in this mess. Also, if Mr Gallen is innocent of all charges and inferences why would that have an impact on whether or not he and his wife could concieve another child....he has nothing to worry about right? Or am I missing something?

    Commenter
    Gottalarf
    Date and time
    June 17, 2014, 1:15AM
    • Spot on.

      Commenter
      Glenn
      Date and time
      June 17, 2014, 8:54AM
    • Yes Gallen if you just told ASADA what you did or didn't know this could have been over for you in a matter days.

      Commenter
      Baz
      Location
      Deagon
      Date and time
      June 17, 2014, 9:00AM
    • Agreed.

      If he's innocent then why is he worrying? Just go to ASADA, tell them everything u know, cop the consequences. If you did nothing wrong, nothing will happen.

      Cronulla should have opened the books, fessed up, this would have been resolved early last year and they would have moved on.

      Commenter
      jg
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      June 17, 2014, 9:08AM
    • Not only are you "missing something" you have lost the plot.

      Commenter
      Dingbat22
      Location
      Sydeney
      Date and time
      June 17, 2014, 9:17AM
    • In fairness to Gallon if you had dozens of sports journalists all looking for an angle to keep the story alive and fresh, any comments you make will come out as self serving, whingeing or a slight on the NRL ASADA or any or related acronym.
      The comments generally are right: the ASADA process is slow but then all justice systems are (because they rely on the presumption of innocence and the person making allegations to provide proof); Cronulla's cooperation and that of the players interviewed has been less than ideal (whether it is because of elements of guilt or potential outcomes that could impact on your career) and the NRL could have provided additional support to players (although no one indicates what this additional support may look like).
      We pay these players exorbitant amounts because of the pressure we as a society put on our "elite" sports people.
      Like the rest of us if they cannot handle the pressure they have the option go do something else (may not pay as much but many of us have changed to less well paying jobs at one time or another) and like the rest of us they are bound by a set of rules.
      Let the process play out and acknowledge that in these circumstances there will not be too many winners: not the players, their families, the clubs, the NRL or ASADA.

      Commenter
      Bernie
      Date and time
      June 17, 2014, 9:35AM
    • Just because you're innocent doesn't mean you have nothing to worry about. Think about all the crap he would cop on the street and on the field from "fans" who would call him a cheat. All that would take a toll on you mentally

      Commenter
      CSKN
      Location
      Manly
      Date and time
      June 17, 2014, 10:26AM
    • Seriously, the real problem was the then Labor ministers for sport and health wanting to make a big announcement to divert attention away from the appalling mess their party was intent on making this country. Sport and politics should never mix, it put all the CEO's of the sport in a bad position, it put ASADA in a completely impossible position to undertake discreet inquiries, and created an ongoing saga that everyone is sick to death of.

      Commenter
      Col the Pariah
      Location
      Faulco
      Date and time
      June 17, 2014, 10:28AM
    • All that is missing from the image of Gallen is a halo.
      The bloke is an absolute angel and never, ever does anything to incite the problems which seem to have followed him throughout his Rugby League career.

      Commenter
      Man on the Hill
      Date and time
      June 17, 2014, 1:08PM
    • Gallen's livelihood and reputation is on the line. I have a lot of empathy for him. Mud sticks. Allegations even if never proven leave a bad smell. He already has a media career that is threatened by what currently amounts to unsubstantiated gossip. The legal process for this investigation is almost an Australian first and involves a lot of uncertainty and the rather strange proving of innocence. It's been dragged out for a ridiculous amount of time. Gallen's a person like all of us and the fear of losing everything must be causing him a lot of stress. I would think that a major concern would be that the process is so flippant that an innocent player could be wrongly convicted. He shouldn't be bagged for voicing his concerns about the process. I'd like a reply to his comments from ASADA. What chance will even Gallen get of that. If you've got something to charge him and everyone else with then why not charge him? I feel a defamation case coming on. Lastly, the darkest day in sport made special mention of illegal betting syndicates. Again absolutely nothing in the way of prosecutions.

      Commenter
      Trevor
      Location
      Binalong
      Date and time
      June 17, 2014, 3:15PM

More comments

Comments are now closed

NRL Season 2015

Round 1
Thu, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI 6 vs SOU 36 Report Stats
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 42 vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 24 vs NZW 14 Report Stats
GCT 18 vs WST 19 Report Stats
NQL 4 vs SYD 28 Report Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 24 vs CBY 18 Report Stats
CRO 20 vs CBR 24 Report Stats
Mon, 09 MarTimes shown AEDT
STG 4 vs MEL 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBY 32 vs PAR 12 Report Stats
CRO 2 vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 40 vs GCT Report Stats
MAN 24 vs MEL 22 Stats
NQL 14 vs NEW 16 Report Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 34 vs SYD 26 Stats
CBR 6 vs NZW 18 Report Stats
Mon, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST 22 vs STG 4 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN 12 vs CBY 16 Report Stats
BRI 44 vs NQL 22 Report Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 29 vs PAR 16 Report Stats
CBR 20 vs STG 22 Report Stats
MEL 36 vs CRO 18 Report Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 20 vs WST 6 Report Stats
GCT 18 vs NEW 20 Report Stats
Mon, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD 20 vs PEN 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 29 vs SOU 16 Report Stats
WST 24 vs CBY 25 Report Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 26 vs PEN 14 Report Stats
CRO 22 vs GCT 24 Report Stats
STG 12 vs MAN 4 Report Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 16 vs BRI 24 Report Stats
SYD 34 vs CBR 6 Report Stats
Mon, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
NQL 18 vs MEL 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
CBY 17 vs SOU 18 Report Stats
GCT 16 vs BRI 26 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MAN 16 vs CBR 29 Report Stats
NEW vs STG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD 12 vs CRO 20 Report Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR 6 vs WST 22 Report Stats
MEL 30 vs NZW 14 Report Stats
PEN 10 vs NQL 30 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 22 vs SYD 18 Report Stats
CRO 22 vs NEW 6 Report Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR 16 vs GCT 38 Report Stats
NZW 32 vs WST 22 Report Stats
PEN 22 vs MAN 12 Report Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
CBR 10 vs MEL 14 Report Stats
STG 31 vs CBY 6 Report Stats
Mon, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU 12 vs NQL 30 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 28 vs MAN 16 Report Stats
STG 12 vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
GCT 32 vs PEN 6 Report Stats
NQL 28 vs NZW 24 Report Stats
MEL 17 vs SYD 16 Report Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
WST 22 vs CBR 30 Report Stats
NEW 22 vs PAR 28 Report Stats
Mon, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO 18 vs SOU 10 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 14 vs WST 38 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
NZW 28 vs GCT 32 Report Stats
NEW 24 vs NQL 26 Report Stats
SYD 12 vs STG 14 Report Stats
MEL 10 vs MAN 12 Stats
BRI 28 vs PAR 16 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
PEN 26 vs CRO 18 Stats
SOU 22 vs CBR 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI 8 vs PEN 5 Report Stats
SYD 36 vs WST 4 Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR 56 vs GCT 16 Stats
CRO 16 vs NZW 20 Stats
NQL 23 vs CBY 16 Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN 30 vs NEW 10 Stats
PAR 10 vs MEL 28 Stats
Mon, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU 16 vs STG 10 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CBY 10 vs SYD 24 Stats
NQL 31 vs BRI 20 Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR 13 vs NZW 17 Report Stats
GCT 22 vs CRO 23 Report Stats
MEL 16 vs SOU 12 Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
STG 32 vs CBR 18 Report Stats
NEW 22 vs WST 12 Stats
Mon, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN 10 vs PEN 11 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU 14 vs PAR 12 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
WST vs NQL 8 Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR 34 vs CBY 41 Stats
Mon, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW 18 vs BRI 31 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs PAR 19:45Pepper Stadium
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
GCT vs SOU 15:00Cbus Super Stadium
CBR vs BRI 17:30GIO Stadium
NQL vs MAN 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
NZW vs NEW 14:00MSS
STG vs CRO 16:00Jubilee Oval
Mon, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs MEL 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MAN 19:35SUN
WST vs GCT 19:35VAS
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CBR 15:00HS
SOU vs NZW 17:30nib Stadium
PEN vs MEL 19:30Pepper Stadium
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
CRO vs SYD 16:00Remondis Stadium
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs STG 16:00ANZ
PAR vs NQL 19:00Pirtek Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
WST vs SOU 19:45ANZ
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SYD 18:00MSS
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT vs CBY 16:00Cbus Super Stadium
Mon, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs PAR 19:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
MAN vs WST 19:45BO
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NQL 15:00GIO Stadium
GCT vs NZW 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
CBY vs PEN 19:30ANZ
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CRO 14:00HS
MEL vs BRI 16:00AAMI
Mon, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
STG vs SYD 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs NEW 19:35SUN
SOU vs MAN 19:35ANZ
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs CBR 15:00MSS
NQL vs CRO 17:301300 Smiles Stadium
PAR vs STG 19:30Pirtek Stadium
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs GCT 14:00AS
WST vs PEN 16:00VAS
Mon, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs MEL 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SOU 19:45Pepper Stadium
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs CRO 16:00BO
Mon, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
WST vs PAR 19:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NEW 19:45GIO Stadium
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SYD 17:30Pepper Stadium
CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs MEL 14:00MSS
CRO vs STG 16:00Remondis Stadium
Mon, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CBY 19:35ANZ
MEL vs PEN 19:35AAMI
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CRO 15:00GIO Stadium
NEW vs GCT 17:30HS
STG vs SOU 19:30SCG
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs NZW 14:00AS
BRI vs WST 16:00SUN
Mon, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs NQL 19:00BO
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs GCT 19:35SUN
WST vs SYD 19:35ANZ
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs MAN 15:00MSS
SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
MEL vs STG 19:30AAMI
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CBR 14:00Pepper Stadium
CBY vs CRO 16:00Belmore Sports Ground
Mon, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs PAR 19:001300 Smiles Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Thu, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs CRO 22:00MSS
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs CBR 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
SOU vs PEN 00:00ANZ
SYD vs CBY 00:00AS
MAN vs BRI 00:00TBA
WST vs MEL 00:00VAS
GCT vs PAR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Thu, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs STG 22:00MSS
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
NEW vs SYD 00:00HS
CBR vs WST 00:00GIO Stadium
MAN vs SOU 00:00BO
CRO vs NQL 00:00Remondis Stadium
MEL vs GCT 00:00AAMI
PAR vs PEN 00:30TIO
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STG 00:00SUN
CBY vs GCT 00:00TBA
NQL vs SOU 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
PEN vs NZW 00:00Pepper Stadium
CBR vs MAN 00:00GIO Stadium
SYD vs PAR 00:00AS
CRO vs MEL 00:00Remondis Stadium
WST vs NEW 00:00CSS
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Wed, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs NQL 22:00MSS
Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs PEN 00:00WIN
SOU vs CBY 00:00ANZ
SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
MAN vs PAR 00:00BO
CRO vs WST 00:00Remondis Stadium
MEL vs NEW 00:00AAMI
GCT vs CBR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CRO 00:00Pirtek Stadium
NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
SOU vs BRI 00:00AS
CBR vs PEN 00:00GIO Stadium
MAN vs SYD 00:00BO
MEL vs NQL 00:00AAMI
WST vs NZW 00:00CSS
GCT vs STG 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MEL 00:00SUN
CBY vs NZW 00:00ANZ
NQL vs GCT 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
STG vs WST 00:00ANZ
PAR vs CBR 00:00Pirtek Stadium
PEN vs NEW 00:00Pepper Stadium
SYD vs SOU 00:00AS
CRO vs MAN 00:00Remondis Stadium
View All Fixtures
NRL Ladder 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D Pts
Melbourne Storm 10 7 3 0 16
Brisbane Broncos 11 8 3 0 16
St George-Illawarra Dragons 10 7 3 0 16
North Queensland Cowboys 11 8 3 0 16
Sydney Roosters 10 5 5 0 12
South Sydney Rabbitohs 11 6 5 0 12
Warriors 10 5 5 0 12
Penrith Panthers 10 5 5 0 12
View all
 
Featured advertisers