Seventeen past and present players from NRL side Cronulla Sharks are under investigation for alleged doping. The players have been issued with formal allegations of possible anti-doping violations.
The Sharks have said five of the players are still at the club.
An investigation by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) centres around the possible use of supplements, including banned peptides.
On their official website, the Sharks said: “Players have been offered a proposal regarding a possible suspension, which they need to consider before the weekend, with the players to consult with their legal representatives over the next two days in relation to their individual circumstances.
“The Sharks will continue to act in the best interests of the players and are providing on-going support, both to those issued with the notices as well as others in the club, while solicitors acting for the players will continue to manage the process on their behalf.”
In a statement, it confirmed the current players under investigation have been offered the chance to accept a possible suspension as punishment for their alleged infractions.
All of the 17 players have 10 days to respond to the allegations. ASADA’s investigation began after a report alleged widespread use of banned substances in Australian sport.
It is also investigating 34 current and former players at the Australian Rules Football club Essendon. Those cases have been put on hold pending a legal hearing into the investigation in Australia’s Federal Court.