Anasta shocked by latest doping claims
NRL veteran Braith Anasta has called on authorities to present some hard evidence and finalise the doping investigation that's engulfed the game.
Wests Tigers back-rower Anasta admitted he was stunned by claims made on the ABC's 7.30 program on Wednesday that 20 NRL players independently purchased supplements from the back of the car owned by Darren Hibbert, reportedly a supplier to controversial sports scientist Stephen Dank.
However, the former Sydney Roosters skipper said in a sport where there are few secrets, it's hard to believe such practices would take place with so few people knowing about it.
"It's a bit surreal," Anasta said on Thursday.
"You have to have clarity on whether it's happening or not.
"There's all this speculation and innuendo. At the start it was a case of 'this is all garbage'
"But then you hear things like players buying stuff out of the back of cars.
"If it's true, then it's a different situation.
"But you'd think if it was happening, we'd know all about it. Some of the players would have heard one way or another.
"If this has been going on then it will be a shock to all of us.
"But until there's some hard evidence we all think it's a waste of time at the moment."
Anasta, who made his debut 13 years ago for Canterbury, said during his career he's never been injected with something he was uncertain of.
And the 32-year-old said players should always question what's administered to them intravenously.
"If someone came up to you with a syringe, you'd want to know exactly what it was," he said.
"You don't take that sort of thing lightly. But if you're a young bloke trying to break into first grade and all your mates are doing it, you may not think twice.
"I can't put myself back in that situation as it didn't happen to me.
"If it's tablets and proteins that's a different case.
"But if it's an injection you have to have a lot of trust."
Anasta said there's a huge sense of frustration from players and people involved in the game ever since the announcement of the investigation by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) last month.
Cronulla and Manly, two of the six clubs named in an ASADA report, have been most under scrutiny and Anasta is concerned the NRL season has become a sideshow.
"I think everyone is sick of it. It's just dragging on," he said.
"It's not good for the game, everyone's frustrated.
"Everyone wants to talk about the good things and the teams that are playing well and the players that are playing well."