Hasler backs Dank and Manly in the face of ACC findings
''No drama'' ... former Manly coach Des Hasler. Photo: Sahlan Hayes
CANTERBURY coach Des Hasler has leapt to the defence of his former club, insisting Manly followed the right protocols during his tenure at the club.
The two-time premiership-winning coach, who worked with Stephen Dank at the club between 2006 and 2010, believes the Sea Eagles have nothing to worry about.
As part of the investigation into the use of illicit and illegal supplements in Australian sport, Manly was audited, as were Cronulla, Penrith and Newcastle.
But Hasler, who worked closely with Dank during the five years the sport scientist spent at the club, insisted Manly always followed the letter of the law. ''I've got no qualm,'' Hasler said after Canterbury's 36-14 trial win against Newtown at Belmore Sportsground on Sunday afternoon. ''One hundred per cent - we worked entirely within the policy of the WADA and ASADA guidelines. There's no drama there.''
Like most players and officials involved in the game, Hasler is eager to hear the findings of the Australian Crime Commission. ''There's been a lot of speculation and a lot of accusation,'' he said. ''Everyone now is waiting to see the accountability. I think that's probably the general message that's been put back there by CEOs and leading people in the game. I guess we'll just have to wait and see … I'd like to think [it won't disrupt the start of the season], but I think the word out there at the moment is, 'Tell us [what's going on].'''
Dank has come under fire since Essendon - the AFL club he worked with last year - came clean about the use of peptides at the club. He will appear on ABC-TV on Monday night to plead his innocence in the case.
While Hasler didn't elaborate on the supplement use at Manly during his time at the club, he did explain Dank's involvement at the club.
''Steve Dank is a great thinker,'' Hasler said. ''He's a great analytical thinker. In his time at Manly there, he did a lot of work with GPS and a lot of statistical science. He did a lot of work in hypoxic [altitude simulation training] and that.''
Hasler, who began his first grade playing career in 1982 before taking up coaching in 2004, just seven years after his retirement, has seen plenty in his time in the game. But he admitted the ACC's findings that were announced last Thursday were a shock. ''I haven't seen anything like this,'' he said. ''With the announcement from the federal ministers earlier in the week, the resounding response is they want to know who, what, when, where and why.''
In the match on Sunday, Hasler used his NRL players in the second half of the contest against Newtown, which they won three tries to two.
Josh Reynolds, Drury Low and Sam Perrett all crossed for the Bulldogs in front of about 4000 fans at the suburban ground.
Tony Williams showed glimpses of his destructive best in his first showing for the club since leaving Manly at the end of last season.