Paul Gallen has broken ranks and gained his own legal representation according to the Daily Telegraph. There is talk that Gallen believes he will be a major target of the ASADA investigators if only for the fact that he would be the biggest scalp for them to claim.
I said from day one that players should seek their own legal representation. The idea that players can be represented as a group I believe is unrealistic.
The problem a group faces is that it takes just one player to decide to cop a 6 months ban and give ASADA all of the information they need to make a case, and you could see everyone else banned for the maximum of 2 years.
Don’t think for a second that ASADA isn’t telling players they should roll over. They will be laying out a lot of information that they already have and telling players that a ban is coming, it’s just the amount of cooperation they give ASADA that will determine the length of that ban.
ASADA will tell players that all it takes is one of their mates to get injured or one of them to be sacked. One player to decide that a six month ban isn’t that big of a deal to them….and everyone else is getting two years. Do YOU want to risk your career on your mates not cracking under the pressure?
In a situation like this, every player has to look after themselves.
Rugby League players for the most part are followers. They stick together. They stick with the group. All that is going to do in this situation is make it easier for ASADA.
Many people will see Gallen’s move to get his own legal representation as a sign of guilt. Unfortunately, that’s just how people are. I see it as a sign of strength. I see it as a player that is reading this situation and that knows shit is about to get real!
You don’t want to be in that group that sits down and gets told how much you will all be banned for. You don’t want to be lumped in with a bunch of other players. You don’t need to be battling guilt by association on top of everything else.
Paul Gallen has made the right decision. How that helps him in the long run will be interesting to find out. There is no doubt at all that he has more to lose than any other player named in the ASADA investigation.
There is a long way to go before all of this is over. Knowing how things work in Rugby League we will probably find out the outcome of the investigation leading into a Grand Final that is being contested by the Sharks!
I just hope at the end of all of this that everyone learns a lesson. That teams are more careful about who they employ and what practices they put in place. That players question anyone that gives them any substance. That when questions do arise about the possible use of performance enhancing substances that the process becomes quicker, easier and more transparent.
My gut feeling is that things are generally going to get very ugly for the Cronulla Sharks football club. If even one player is banned we will see lawsuits flying all over the place.
The Cronulla Sharks are doing it tough financially as it is. They can not afford to be battling anyone else in court over loss of earnings or loss of reputation.
If you think the players have a lot riding on this ASADA investigation, it is nothing compared to what the Cronulla Sharks club itself has at stake.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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