Leeds Rhinos refute Aiton rumours

Leeds Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott insists their preparation for tomorrow’s Challenge Cup Final has not been affected by talk connecting hooker Paul Aiton to the doping scandal in Australia – calling the talk “rumours”.

Aiton was reported by Australian media as one of the 17 players issued with show cause notices and offered a deal relating to Cronulla Sharks’ controversial supplements program back in 2011. The likes of Paul Gallen and Jeremy Smith have accepted the deal and received a back-dated suspension, which runs until November 23 this year.

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However, McDermott refused to be drawn on any talk linking Aiton with the situation, insisting the squad are merely focusing on preparing for the game.

“That’s all they are, rumours,” McDermott said.

“At no stage has our club or the RFL had any contact, WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) haven’t contacted the player. Paul is not even part of the investigation. It’s just reports in a newspaper.

“Paul’s getting ready for a game, we’re getting ready for a game.”