Danny McGuire celebrates after scoring a try that helped Leeds win its first Challenge Cup final in seven attempts. Photo: Getty Images
WEMBLEY: Hooker Paul Aiton says he hasn't heard from ASADA since the Cronulla doping investigation began and is disturbed his name has been repeatedly published as one of 17 players who have received "show cause" notices.
Aiton enjoyed a career highlight on Saturday when he helped Leeds lift their first Challenge Cup in 15 years with a 23-10 win over neighbours Castleford in front of 77,914 fans at Wembley Stadium
But the build-up was marred by reports in Australia he had been offered a discounted suspension if he owned up on Friday – and then that he would be fighting the allegations.
Paul Aiton in action for the Sharks in 2011. Photo: Getty Images
"I haven't been approached by anyone, I know just as much as anyone else," Aiton said
"It's not real fair on the players – you can just tell how hard they've done it. My heart goes out to them but I haven't been approached.
"It's not real good, seeing your name like that in the paper. Especially when it's every paper and you're hearing from your mates … 'what's going on here?'
"The players and club rallied around me. They were very supportive.
"I just show up next week and keep playing."
Earlier, Leeds coach Brian McDermott told Fairfax he had not seen the need to raise the issue with Aiton before the match, the Rhinos first win in seven Challenge Cup finals.
"A few players asked him a couple of questions but he just waved it off," McDermott said.
"My understanding is this: Paul's never been contacted by the RFL, he's never been contacted by WADA. As we understand, he's not even involved in any investigation.
"If he was under investigation, we'd have known by now. We'll crack on as normal. WADA haven't contacted the club and it's my understanding they've got a duty to do that.
"It wasn't the greatest build-up for Paul but I honestly don't feel he was affected too much by it either."
Winger Ryan Hall was the star with two powerful tries, while five-eighth Danny McGuire booted a field goal despite suffering three cracked ribs late in the match.
The Rhinos led 16-4 at halftime but were left fearing a seventh consecutive Challenge Cup final loss when Oliver Holmes narrowed the margin to six after halftime.
LEEDS 23 (Ryan Hall 2, Tom Briscoe, Danny McGuire tries; Kevin Sinfield 3 goals; McGuire field goal) beat CASTLEFORD 10 (Darryl Clarke, Oliver Holmes tries; Liam Finn goal) at Wembley Stadium. Referee: Phil Bentham. Crowd: 77,914.