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Graham grilled by ASADA, but other Sharks forced to wait

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Michael Carayannis

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Wade Graham met Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigators for about three hours on Monday, but it is unclear when any of his teammates will be questioned, with further interviews with Cronulla players slated for Tuesday and Wednesday set to be delayed by a legal dispute.

It is uncertain whether the stand-off was caused by anything that occurred during Graham's interview but Fairfax Media understands lawyers for both parties are in disagreement over the level of co-operation the players are required to provide after being told they do not have to incriminate themselves.

It will be the second delay in players being interviewed by ASADA after the first round of interviews were postponed last week for the same reason.

Wading in: Cronulla Sharks player Wade Graham arrives at the meeting.

Wading in: Cronulla Sharks player Wade Graham arrives at the meeting. Photo: Peter Rae

A casually dressed Graham became the first rugby league player to face ASADA regarding possible use of banned substances by Cronulla in 2011 but left three hours later without being given any indication of when he would learn if he would be charged.

Graham, wearing a T-shirt, baseball cap and thongs, was the first of 31 NRL players to be questioned by ASADA about the use of supplements during the 2011 season while sports scientist Stephen Dank was at the club.

Less than 24 hours after playing in the Sharks' 24-8 loss to Canterbury on Sunday afternoon, Graham fronted ASADA with Melbourne-based lawyer Richard Redman.

Redman arrived at an office in Sydney's CBD about 10.30am with Graham joining him at the Reserve Bank of Australia headquarters half a hour later. The pair left about 11.30am before heading into a taxi where it is understood they met with ASADA officials. Graham refused to comment about the investigations and only said he pulled up fine from Sunday's clash.

Redman re-emerged minus Graham about 3pm before heading back into the RBA where he stayed for about a hour before walking back to his Pitt Street office.

Fairfax Media understands that no Sharks players would be interviewed on Tuesday while the meetings may resume on Wednesday.

Cronulla football manager Steve Noyce said the process needed to begin. ''It was important for the process to start because that's the way you'll finish it,'' Noyce said.

About 10 Cronulla players are expected to front ASADA.

As the players wait to learn of their fate, it is understood the NRL will begin issuing infraction notices as soon as ASADA gets enough evidence to charge a player, meaning the Sharks could lose players gradually and before other clubs.

If a player is issued with an infraction notice he could face a two-year suspension.

Meanwhile, NRL club bosses will descend upon Rugby League Central on Tuesday to get the latest update on the ASADA investigations. Other topics on the agenda at the chief executives meeting include a further outline of the NRL's restructure, the stadium strategy for the code as well as welfare and education issues.

14 comments so far

  • Seriously, can someone please advise the remaining sharks players to be interviewed by asada to not come straight from the beach & maybe change out of the thongs, take off the hat turned around the wrong way & dress like you have common sense. Wake up to yourself. If someone looks like a goose, usually they are

    Commenter
    Shane of Panania
    Date and time
    April 29, 2013, 9:18PM
    • Good to see he is dressed appropriately for the occasion. I say let these guys shoot whatever enhancements they want. If it wasn't for football I'm not sure what they'd do.

      Commenter
      matt
      Date and time
      April 29, 2013, 10:55PM
      • Good to see him dressed up to create a good impression......

        Commenter
        BigDaddyBenno
        Date and time
        April 29, 2013, 11:55PM
        • At first blush, the photograph, and textual reference to Graham being casually dressed, may speak to arrogance or stupidity but there's perhaps a third issue in play here. Did Steve Noyce and/or Bruno Cullen prohibit Graham (and those that follow) from wearing standard team casual clothing, thereby seeking to isolate player appearances from becoming "Sharks' visuals"? If that's the case gentlemen, I offer up two words; genie and bottle.

          Commenter
          Steve
          Location
          Arizona, USA
          Date and time
          April 30, 2013, 3:49AM
          • Nice outfit. Is this guy serious?

            One can hardly believe that any person who is being questioned about an issue which may have a profound effect on their career (and livelihood) would attend any interview or meeting dressed in such a way.

            Any person with two neurons to rub together would understand that ones appearance is their 'first impression' and primary form of non-verbal communication.

            This ensemble screams "I don't take this questioning or process seriously at all and couldn't care less about the authority of those who are interviewing me".

            What a great example he sets to the key demographic that the 'great game of Rugby League' targets - working class kids. His club and code must be brimming with pride.

            Commenter
            Tasman
            Location
            Sydney
            Date and time
            April 30, 2013, 5:28AM
            • Michael, how do you know he was grilled or was that just for a touch of the dramatics? Does anyone think players or anyone else would just rollover on this issue? If and when ASADA issues an Infraction Notice and the NRL acts upon that and a player's living is denied them, then the real action will commence. Just one point to the players play the game and wear a suit when assisting ASADA with their enquiries. It may not sound much but it is about presence and indicates you take the exercise seriously which of course you must. Suits understand the unwritten message of a suit. "Respect me because I respect the occasion". It is no different to wearing your jumper for a game.

              Commenter
              Rob
              Location
              Gymea Bay
              Date and time
              April 30, 2013, 6:35AM
              • Wade Graham for turning up to an interview/meeting that could make or break your career dressed like that you deserve to be found guilty of at least having no respect for the process. Common courtesy would tell you to lose the flat brim and at least put on some closed in shoes. A petty point I know but kids these days at least need someone to look up to and be a role model and you Wade, will never be one

                Commenter
                Z
                Date and time
                April 30, 2013, 6:47AM
                • Hope he gave those thongs a polish before turning up to the interview... very classy.

                  Commenter
                  Crowin'
                  Location
                  Qld
                  Date and time
                  April 30, 2013, 7:01AM
                  • "The pair left about 11.30am before heading into a taxi where it is understood they met with ASADA officials." What a strange place to hold a meeting. Must have been a maxi taxi.

                    Commenter
                    Wysiwyg Sydney
                    Date and time
                    April 30, 2013, 7:11AM
                    • I just cannot believe that the Cronulla officials allowed this bloke to turn up for the interview, dressed as he was.......Bloody Disgraceful.

                      Commenter
                      Mike
                      Location
                      Sydney
                      Date and time
                      April 30, 2013, 10:22AM

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