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Trainer Stephen Dank banned for life from NRL

JAMES MACSMITH
Last updated 03:09 24/08/2014

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Controversial biochemist Stephen Dank has been banned for life by the NRL over his involvement in Cronulla's 2011 supplements program.

NRL boss Dave Smith confirmed on Saturday that Dank would never again be permitted to practise in the competition.

The announcement on Dank came as Smith also confirmed that 12 past and current Sharks players would serve a 12-month backdated suspension for breaches of the game's anti-doping rules.

Dank was employed as support staff under coach Shane Flanagan at the Sharks in 2011.

"I can't be strong enough that anybody with a duty of care for our players, we are going to harden our regime so much that it would be hostile for them to come into this environment," Smith said.

"On the evidence of what I have seen, there is no place in this sport ever for Stephen Dank."

In a statement released by the NRL, the game's governing body said it had instituted a number of measures to "deter and detect doping breaches in the future".

Those measures, led by the Integrity Unit, include requiring club and coaching staff to be registered and accredited.

"The new accreditation process would ensure the NRL never allows Stephen Dank to have further involvement in the game," the statement read.

Dank has repeatedly denied any wrong doing over the program.

Smith indicated banned Sharks coach Flanagan could also possibly face further censure from ASADA over the 2011 supplements program.

Banned trainer Trent Elkin is likely to also fall into that category.

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