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Roosters coach upset by headlines

Trent Robinson admits reports linking members of his Sydney Roosters squad with performance-enhancing drugs couldn't have come at a worse time for the NRL club.
Roosters coach upset by headlines
by AAP

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, Sept 27 AAP - Trent Robinson admits reports linking members of his Sydney Roosters squad with performance-enhancing drugs couldn't have come at a worse time for the NRL club.

The minor premiers, having enjoyed an almost flawless first season under coach Robinson, were thrown into turmoil just 48 hours before facing Newcastle for a place in the grand final.

It was reported by Fairfax Media on Thursday the club sacked a company hired at the end of last year to help finetune detox diets and that blood records of six players ended up on the mobile phone of an organised crime figure.

The decision to stop using Nubodi came after the players, including Boyd Cordner, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Sam Moa returned blood test results with elevated readings for Human Growth Hormone (HGH).

The trio were later re-tested by the club and did not return high levels of HGH and there's no suggestion they acted improperly.

However, Robinson said the headlines were uncomfortable for everyone at the club but he insisted it will not derail their push for a first premiership since 2002.

"It wasn't what we needed yesterday, but it is what it is. We've dealt with it, talked about it and know what's required tomorrow night," Robinson said on Friday.

"I'd like to think it can galvanise the team, but we have to show that tomorrow night. We're happy how we've handled things and we'll see if we're strong enough.

The 36-year-old, who's in his first season as a NRL coach, questioned the timing of the report and said he was unhappy pictures of the three players were splashed across the newspapers.

"Having Boyd, Sam and Roger on the front of the paper linked with performance-enhancing drugs was bitterly disappointing," he said.

"These are upstanding young men and they are under our control. But they were very strong.

"But it's hard for people's families to see them on the front page.

"Roger is a 20-year-old kid and a lot of our players were worried about him. "But he is a strong kid who has done a lot of good for his area in New Zealand.

"If my little fella grows up to be like Roger Tuivasa-Sheck ,I'll be very happy."

Robinson insisted the club have nothing to hide and expects no recriminations from the NRL or ASADA further down the line.

"We've been open and honest with the NRL and they've come out in support of us," he said.

"They were pretty clear yesterday. They came out and said the Roosters were pretty open and honest with us on the details and there would be no investigation.

"We're happy with the process that took place.

"But knowing it's been out there for quite a few months and for it come out before our biggest game is interesting.

"I think that people have published this story in the biggest week of 2013 - a story that's been open and honest with the NRL for three to four months.


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