Sharks' Flanagan set to appeal 12-month ban

JAMES MACSMITH
Last updated 18:38 17/01/2014

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Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan is set to appeal the sanction handed down to him by the NRL following the ASADA scandal, says Sharks captain Paul Gallen.

Flanagan was hit with a 12-month ban from rugby league last month after the game's governing body completed its review into governance issues at Cronulla in 2010 and 2011.

The Sharks were also handed a $1 million ban and former Sharks trainer Trent Elkin, now with Parramatta, was suspended for two years.

Flanagan was originally stood down from coaching duties when an independent report was completed for the Sharks by former ASADA deputy chair Dr Trish Kavanagh last February, but was reinstated less than a month later.

The 48-year-old has always protested his innocence in the affair and with the Sharks given under January 29 to respond to the NRL breach notices, Gallen said Flanagan would appeal.

"As far as I know Shane Flanagan will be fighting it," Gallen told AAP on Friday.

"I have spoken to him regularly and he seems to be in pretty good spirits.

"So they (the club) will be doing everything they can to look after him."

Gallen, who on Friday announced the start of his professional boxing career with a fight against 19-year-old Queenslander Herman Ene-Purcell on February 19 at Sydney's Hordern Pavilion, said he wasn't sure how the Sharks were going to approach their fine.

"It is a hard situation, it has been difficult for everyone," he said.

"It has been going on for 12 months now.

"I have been open with the media all year about it ... we really don't know what is going to happen and where it is at.

"We are just like you blokes (the media), we take it day to day and see what happens."

Last month the NRL said their preliminary findings had "identified serious failures on the part of the club (Cronulla) and certain individuals who had a responsibility to safeguard the health and welfare of its players".

Flanagan, Elkin and Cronulla were initially given until January 15 to respond, before the deadline was extended by a further two weeks.

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