Brumbies brush off link to drug importer
The ACT Brumbies are confident they have nothing to worry about despite revelations a former fitness consultant was convicted of importing steroids.
A Fairfax Media report on Sunday revealed John Pryor worked with the Brumbies in 2004 and was convicted of illegally importing performance-enhancing supplements four years earlier. Pryor was hired by then Brumbies coach David Nucifora to assist the squad with speed work.
It came after Pryor was convicted of importing three bottles of the banned drug DHEA-100 and two bottles of androstenedione in November 2000, for which he was fined $500.
Pryor also held roles with the Wallabies (2004-07), employed when former Brumbies coach Eddie Jones was in charge, and the Waratahs (2007).
Neither Brumbies chief executive Andrew Fagan or then chief executive Rob Clarke knew of Pryor's previous conviction, but were sure the coaching staff did. Jones said he knew of the conviction when he hired Pryor.
Australian sport has been under a cloud since the Australian Crime Commission released a report indicating links between organised crime, match fixing and performance-enhancing drugs in the AFL and NRL.
Fagan said the Brumbies weren't concerned about Pryor's past and the story was just ''topical''.
''I don't think that this is linked to the ACC stuff at all, apart from the fact that it's topical,'' he told The Canberra Times.
''You're talking about a guy who did some speed-coach work with us on a part-time basis nine years ago and … wasn't in any way involved with any supplementation program.
''Rugby hasn't in any way been implicated in the ACC report and this in no way is part of any ACC inquiry.''
Clarke agreed the Brumbies had done nothing wrong. While not having knowledge of Pryor's past himself, he was confident Nucifora would have known through Jones's links with the Brumbies.
''I wasn't, but that doesn't mean the coaching staff or those in the professional team environment were not at the time,'' Clarke said.
''Obviously Eddie Jones has made it clear he was aware of the past, and the past was the past. And given Eddie was at the Brumbies, then I anticipate, based on what he commented publicly, that he did know.''