David Williams has leapt to the defence of Sean Carolan, the personal trainer and nutritional guru who conducted unsanctioned tests for human growth hormone at Sydney Roosters in the pre-season, saying his own association with the Nubodi Group owner consisted of being "either in the gym or eating at a sushi bar".
Carolan, 39, was sacked by the Roosters in January after it was discovered his company, hired to implement a dietary and detox plan, had been testing players' HGH levels without the knowledge of club doctor John Orchard.
Last week, Fairfax Media revealed that blood test results were found on a seized telephone belonging to Khan Alameddine, 28, a person with known links to organised crime. These showed six players had elevated HGH counts. Later testing by club medical staff did not show higher than usual levels of HGH in the players.
Carolan, who denies any wrongdoing, was introduced to the Roosters via front-rower Martin Kennedy, whom he had trained privately. Manly winger Williams is another of his clients, having met him through his manager George Mimis in January. He said adopting Carolan's raw-food diet had been life- and career-changing.
"He's a bloke that doesn't need defending because he hasn't done anything wrong," Williams said.
"It's absolute bullshit. We're either in the gym or we're eating at a sushi bar.
"He's got 100 per cent of my support. I talk to him every day."
Manly forward Tom Symonds, formerly of the Roosters, is also an adherent of the "caveman" diet – which includes eating meat, fish, fruits and eggs, all raw.
Williams was an outspoken advocate of the program before Carolan and Nubodi featured in revelations about the Roosters.
Having battled shoulder, knee and neck injuries that have sidelined him at length since his Manly debut in 2008, the former NSW and Australia winger has made it no secret that he believes his alternative eating regimen has been key to keeping him on the field.
He has played 26 games this season, scoring 20 tries.
"A lot of people don't think that but it's a bit naive not to think that," said the Sea Eagles winger, who is off contract and to date without a club after Sunday's grand final.
"Your foods obviously give you your energy and that's the natural recovery systems in your body. Obviously getting on the piss is a simple one; you don't recover as well from that. So you take that out, you take all the other toxins out of your body, then your body doesn't have to deal with that. It's working on the recovery process. It's putting all its energy into that, so how can it not be beneficial?"
Williams said he still has the odd drink and a scheduled break from the intake of solely raw food as he chases a second premiership. He played in Manly's win in 2008, but missed their grand final victory in 2011 with a broken neck.
"After the years that I had consecutively, and being my last year at Manly, it was give all, end all.
"I gave it a whirl and I'm very glad I did," he said.
"I definitely think the work we've put in warrants us being here and I'm just glad that I can be a part of it, for a change."