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Noyce denies Dank paid by Sharks

Cronulla chief executive Steve Noyce has revealed ASADA's contentment with the Sharks' level of co-operation and welcomed an NRL investigation into a bank account linked to the club's doping scandal.
Noyce denies Dank paid by Sharks
by AAP

By Steve Jancetic

SYDNEY, Aug 21 AAP - Cronulla chief executive Steve Noyce has revealed ASADA's contentment with the Sharks' level of co-operation and welcomed an NRL investigation into a bank account linked to the club's doping scandal.

Noyce on Wednesday said a high performance unit bank account allegedly operated by Sharks coach Shane Flanagan had been shut down in April, having been opened in 2012.

A report aired on ABC's 7.30 program on Tuesday night led to speculation as to whether the account could have been used to pay for sports scientist Stephen Dank's services and supplements during the 2011 period which is the subject of an anti-doping investigation.

Noyce strenuously rejected any suggestion linking the account to the supplements program, adding the account was opened a year after Dank's departure from the club.

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.

Noyce confirmed the Sharks had no record of any payments to Dank, with NRL boss Dave Smith asking the league's integrity unit to investigate the context in which the account was used.

"I'm not going to raise a concern at this point in time," Smith said.

"We just want to get to the bottom of the nature of the account and what it's been used for.

"It could be simple, it could be innocent, it could be completely normal, and if it's not we'll get to the bottom of that as well."

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."

Noyce said he had received positive feedback from ASADA in reference to the co-operation of the Sharks players who are part of the interview process.

The interviews were due to be completed by August 28, but are now set to extend into September.

"ASADA, we're three-quarters of the way through interviews," Noyce said.

"I'm personally pleased that the feedback from ASADA has been that our players have come across as both honest and credible.

"That's important for the club and shows a level of co-operation."




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