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Noyce denies Dank paid by Sharks

Cronulla have strenuously rejected any suggestion that a private bank account may have been used to pay for its controversial 2011 supplements program.
Noyce denies Dank paid by Sharks
by AAP

SYDNEY, Aug 21 AAP - Cronulla have strenuously rejected any suggestion that a private bank account may have been used to pay for its controversial 2011 supplements program.

NRL boss Dave Smith has asked the league's integrity unit to investigate claims aired on ABC's 7.30 program on Tuesday night of a high performance unit bank account allegedly operated by Sharks coach Shane Flanagan off the NRL club's books.

Flanagan has said the account was used to buy gym equipment - with money raised through functions and golf days - because the football department was not funded well enough to be competitive.

The ABC report led to speculation about whether a private account could have been used to pay for sports scientist Stephen Dank's services and supplements used during the 2011 period which is the subject of an anti-doping investigation.

Cronulla chief executive Steve Noyce on Wednesday confirmed the Sharks had no record of any payments to Dank.

Both Flanagan and Noyce were adamant the high performance bank account was not used for that purpose and Noyce confirmed it was only opened a year after Dank parted from the club.

The Daily Telegraph has reported there was a previous private account used to fund team camps and equipment in 2009 but Noyce said there was nothing suspicious about the use of either account.

"Any funds raised from these two accounts were used solely on the high performance unit," Noyce said.

"The club and the head coach Shane Flanagan strenuously deny any funds from this account were used in relation to the 2011 supplements program.

"The high performance account was closed in April of 2013.

"Obviously if an account was opened, in reference to the account last night, in 2012, it's impossible to pay for anything in 2011.

"The club is not aware of any payment made to Stephen Dank.

"I have no other opinion to make other than the club did not pay Stephen Dank."

Dank declined to shed any light on whether he was paid for his work at Cronulla.

Asked on Wednesday if he was paid off the books, he told the Nine Network: "Mate, you might want to direct that one to the accountants about that one."

Smith said on Wednesday he had spoken to NRL chief operating officer Jim Doyle, who oversees the integrity unit, as well as Noyce and new Sharks chairman Damien Keogh.

"I don't know the details of the account," Smith told reporters in Sydney.

"What we need to do is have a good look at what actually has happened, have a look at - if the account existed - what it was used for, and all the things you'd expect the investigation team to do.

"We'll put the integrity unit onto that, to have a look at what those allegations are and we'll see what we get."

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