Manly coach downplays calves blood link

IAN MCCULLOUGH AND ED LOGUE
Last updated 20:03 14/03/2013
Geoff Toovey
Getty Images
NO PROBLEM: Manly coach Geoff Toovey says his side should have nothing to worry about and that his players are concentrating on rugby league.

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Manly coach Geoff Toovey has played down the significance of reports players from the NRL club were injected with calves blood off site at the home of a former teammate.

Calves blood, which is officially known as Actovegin, is not a banned substance and has been cleared for use by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).

It was reportedly used on players - without the knowledge of the  Sea Eagles' club doctor - at the home of Josh Perry, who now plays for English Super League side St Helens.

Actovegin is used to enhance aerobic oxidation, but Toovey said the club no longer used it because there's no scientific evidence that it worked.

"From my recollection, the only thing that was injected here was Actovegin which was approved by all the bodies and ASADA," Toovey said.

"That's the only thing I have knowledge of and there's no scientific evidence to suggest it does anything anyway."

Toovey also denied any knowledge of claims made by a former supplement supplier to controversial sports scientist Stephen Dank that players allegedly purchased products from the boot of his car.

"It's all speculation," Toovey said.

"It's not in our procedures and protocols so I would be surprised if that happened.

"We can only control what we can control. That is the same with every club - you put rules in place to hopefully safeguard the players.

"The club can only do what the club will do. Individual players know the responsibility to the club and to themselves."

The coach conceded the comments are not a good look, but insisted there should be nothing to worry about for the Sea Eagles.

"I think we're concerned across all sports," he said.

"Whether it be Essendon, Cronulla, and unfortunately we don't know the facts so it is hard to comment on.

"I understand there is a job to be done by the various bodies and they can't rush things.

"But we'd like to expedite things. But I don't think we have too much to worry about here and the players are focused on rugby league."

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