ASADA has begun calling NRL players directly.
Two players from NRL clubs have been contacted personally by ASADA in the next stage of the doping investigations consuming the rugby code.
It has been revealed that two players, one from Canberra and the other from Cronulla, have been contacted via personal mobile phone during the week to organise formal interviews, according to The Daily Telegraph.
It was announced earlier in the week by NRL boss Dave Smith and ARLC chairman John Grant that any requests for interviews with players would be directed through an integrity unit.
The NRL’s newly formed unit is headed by former Federal Court judge Tony Whitlam QC and commercial lawyer Michael Eyers.
The phone calls made by ASADA are a direct contrast to the procedure outlined by the NRL and more are sure to follow after ASADA announced 31 NRL players will be issued with notices requesting interviews.
It is believed another 10 former NRL players are also of interest to ASADA and the process of issuing the notices could take up to 6 weeks.
By contacting players through the NRL body players will be compelled to co-operate under the game’s code of conduct. Players that do not comply will face automatic suspensions and possible bans for the clubs.
However players contacted directly by ASADA are not subject to these obligations and cannot be forced to undergo an interview.
Smith announced that players conducting interviews would continue to play in the NRL competition until the point where ASADA issue infringement notices.
At that time players will be stood down from competition until they face the NRL’s tribunal.