Cronulla Sharks chief executive Lyall Gorman says players could be left distracted after the 34 current and former Essendon players were found not guilty of doping by the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal.
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The Sharks and the Bombers were at the centre of a two-year investigation by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) into the alleged use of banned substances.
Despite both cases being linked heavily with controversial sports scientist Steven Dank, the outcomes of the two cases were very different.
The 12 Cronulla players involved in the case all accepted backdated 12-month bans in September last year, while all 34 Essendon players were found not guilty on Tuesday.
Gorman says there is the potential for its players to become sidetracked from the announcement despite the hard work being done to put the case behind them.
“Every player, I’m sure, would’ve gone through a moment of reflection about where they’re at today,” Gorman is quoted as saying by AAP.
“I know everyone had been working hard to put it behind it us.
“And clearly we need to – we’ve got significant challenges on the park we’re trying to address, and we certainly don’t need distractions.”
Cronulla currently sit on the bottom of the NRL table after losing its four opening games.