Sharks not privy to ASADA-players talks

Last updated 21:23 11/03/2013

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A Cronulla insider claims the NRL club is  not privy to any deals being negotiated between ASADA and Sharks players suspected of taking banned substances.

The emotion-charge fervour of Sunday night's 12-10 win over Gold  Coast made way for the reality of a club in crisis on Monday.

Players turning up for Monday's recovery session were again met  by waiting media, as attention turned back to the 2011 squad  members still facing bans.

As many as 14 Sharks players are in the sights of the Australian  Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) in an investigation which  could last for another four weeks.

But a club insider claimed the Sharks were not part of talks  between players and ASADA - with players and legal representatives  provided by the club involved in negotiations.

Players are also free to seek their own legal advice away from  that appointed by the club.

It has been reported players have been offered six-month deals  for co-operating with ASADA and admitting to using banned  substances.

While the Sharks overcame a traumatic week to beat the Titans -  a victory the players dedicated to stood-down coach Shane Flanagan  and the four sacked staff members - star pivot Todd Carney warned  the side could not continue to rely on emotion to carry them  through.

''It's all emotional and the thing is for us we can't rely on  emotion for the rest of the year and that's why we want it resolved  as soon as possible,'' Carney said.

''So hopefully it does happen sooner rather than later and we can  get back to seeing headlines of players performing on the field and  not all this stuff tarnishing it.''

Meanwhile, chairman Damian Irvine is believed to be standing  firm amid speculation he will stand down from his role.

Irvine became public enemy No.1 among Sharks fans on Sunday  after accusing the popular Flanagan of covering up allegations  players were injected with substances designed for horses in 2011.Flanagan only added to the 'me or him' scenario when he  continued to refute the allegations.

''I don't know where he (Irvine) gets it from ... time will tell  and he'll be proven wrong,'' Flanagan said.

''Our strength and condition coach at the time Trent Elkin was  put in a role to control those supplements and to this moment I  still trust Trent.

''He's a reliable and a good person and he'd never put any player  at risk.''

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Rumours continued to spread on Monday about the drugs scandal at  other clubs named in the Australian Crime Commission report being  worse than that at the Sharks.

Essendon midfielder Brent Stanton said there was reason for  optimism at the AFL club that the Bombers' front-foot approach  would not result in the same fallout as at Cronulla.

''We opened up our doors to be investigated,'' Stanton said.

- AAP

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