Media statement: WADA decision not to appeal

1 October 2014

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) welcomes the decision of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) not to appeal the sanction imposed by the National Rugby League (NRL) on 12 current and former Cronulla Sharks players for doping violations.

The decision by WADA not to appeal supports ASADA’s position that the 12-month sanctions backdated to November 2013 are consistent and compliant with the provisions of the World Anti-Doping Code. ASADA and WADA engaged in regular communication throughout the investigation in this regard.

ASADA acknowledges the investigation into the NRL was protracted and there were delays not attributable to the players: this was reflected in the sanctions imposed. However, the investigation was not carried out in isolation. There were a number of factors that contributed to the delays, not least of which was the unprecedented level of complexity and scope of the investigation.

ASADA also acknowledges the important and valuable contribution of Justice Downes to this process; his advice and insight has proven most valuable in concluding both the NRL and AFL investigations, which have run concurrently since early 2012.

Matters involving the outstanding players remain ongoing and will follow the established process for managing possible anti-doping rule violations. ASADA has no further comment at this stage.