The Sydney Morning Herald are reporting potential bad news for Leeds Rhinos’ Paul Aiton – as well as two other former Cronulla Sharks stars – today, after it was revealed the hooker has reportedly not been offered a backdated ban by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority.
Current Cronulla captain Paul Gallen – as well as nine other current NRL players – accepted the bans last month if they admitted to inadvertently taking prohibited peptides during the supplements program run at the club in 2011 by sports scientist Stephen Dank.
That backdated ban meant that they will be free to play again as of November 23 this year. But Aiton, as well as former Sharks John Williams and Stuart Flanagan, are not believed to have been offered the deal.
The SMH are reporting that no such deal has been put on the table for the trio, and say that as a result, they could receive a two-year suspension. Aiton is not believed to have been issued with any notice regarding the deal, which backs up what he told League Express following the Rhinos’ Challenge Cup success last month. An extract from that particular story reads:
Leeds Rhinos’ Challenge Cup Final hooker Paul Aiton insists he has had no contact from anyone in Australia about the Cronulla Sharks doping scandal – after ten current NRL players were suspended last week.
Aiton was named by Australian media as one of 17 individuals who were reportedly issued with ‘show cause’ notices from ASADA (Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority) relating to the Sharks’ controversial supplements programme in 2011. Current Sharks and New South Wales captain Paul Gallen has taken a suspension until November 23 this year for his involvement – meaning he will miss the upcoming Four Nations.
However, Aiton told reporters after Leeds’ Challenge Cup victory against Castleford that he has had no approach from anyone, countering what has been reported in Australia, and that he’s not worried about the situation at all.
“For me, I was focusing on the game, and the players and the club let me do that – they supported me,” Aiton said.
“I’m not really worried about what happens as nobody has approached me, so I know just as much as everyone else.
“It’s been going on for 18 months and it’s not really good on the players that have been involved. I haven’t done it and I haven’t been approached by anyone.”
The SMH admit it is unclear why these three players in particular have not been offered the same deal as everyone else.