Daniel Nichols – What Was Wade Meant To Do?

First I think it is fair that I let everyone know once again that I am a Sharks fan and that should be taken into account when reading the following.

Yesterday young 2nd rower Wade Graham was the first player to be interviewed by ASADA officials in Sydney’s RBA offices in relation to the Sharks supposed doping and use of peptides. The eyes of the entire media where on young Graham and his lawyer as entered the interview and two things were quickly assumed. 1. That he is involved in the allegations and 2. His lack of business attire showed a lack of respect for the process. Both are false.

First up there is no suggestion that Graham is under investigation for using the supposed peptides or knows anything about their use in the club BUT to the day to day punter the fact the media has reported 10 players will be interviewed makes you believe that Graham is under suspicion. Parading him in all news bulletins will not exactly project an image of innocence.

If he wasn’t involved, why would he be interviewed? After all they aren’t promoting that they’ll be interviewing everyone at the club during the time just selected players and officials. If twitter is any indication Wade is not only guilty of using peptides but because he was first interviewed is likely to be the main player and be suspended. This is all speculation and I believe the media should come out and HEAVILY promote that Graham has been interviewed not charged and may not even be involved.

Secondly, Wade was heavily criticised and has since apologised for his casual attire. Yes he probably should have shown up in a suit or at very least a dress shirt and pants but the fact is he also should have been at the Sharks recovery session on Monday morning not fronting a media circus to deal with peptide allegations.

Has anyone ever been to a police interview as a witness before? I personally have and I for one did not dress in a suit and tie. I came straight from work in my shorts, shirt, jumper and sports shoes. Who is to say Wade didn’t come from an early morning session with the Sharks and simply did not have time to do his hair, make up and match his tie to his earrings? If what he wears has any bearing on the evidence he was to present than that is downright ridiculous. Sure, he probably should have suited up knowing the media would be hounding him all day but so he wore a shirt and shorts? Put him away for life.

People call it a lack of respect … what about the fact that Asada have pulled one of Cronulla’s main players out of a session they so obviously need (and after losing to the Dogs in the matter they did, they need EVERY session they can get) and every other club gets to have unbothered? Wade should have been at training trying to work out how to beat the Knights this Sunday instead of answering questions about something that may or may not have happened years ago?

Ok I totally understand they have to get the process started sometime, but Asada evidently knew of all of this for months, so why didn’t they start the process in the off season? Why didn’t they start the process at 8 o’clock at night after the Sharks had finished training allowing Wade time to fulfil his commitments to his employers then assist the Asada witch hunt? Why does it have to be first thing

Monday morning? Because they don’t care about the innocence of players, they certainly don’t care about the club or its fans, they just want a name they can trumpet to prove they’re relevant.

Wade may turn out to be implemented in the so called doping system run by the club but to treat him as guilty or showing disrespect simply because he didn’t wear a suit or openly roll over on his teammates is downright stupid.

What happened to Wade’s presumption of innocence? What happened to Wade’s right as a human being to wear whatever he wants? It’s not like he was being charged for murder, he was simply having an interview with an organisation hell bent on tearing his club apart. Excuse him for supposedly showing disrespect, it’s not as though ASADA are going out of their way to protect the player or the club.

Wade has also been criticized for not answering questions. Have the media every heard of a person’s right to not incriminate himself? Wade’s lawyer would have advised him on what he should and shouldn’t say and I for one totally back Wade for sticking to his guns.

Or maybe, JUST MAYBE Wade genuinely doesn’t know anything about this supposed doping and peptide use and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Trial by media and twitter doesn’t work and once again I applaud Wade for dressing how he wants and not answering questions he felt he didn’t need to answer.

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