Shark warning: Players consider legal options

RUGBY LEAGUE

At least two more players from Cronulla's 2011 playing squad have made inquiries about their legal position after the Sharks were provisionally fined $1 million amid NRL claims the embattled club had exposed players to "serious health risks".

Former Sharks Isaac Gordon and Josh Cordoba have already launched legal action against the club for negligence.

Fairfax Media understands that at least two more players, who were at the club in 2011 when the supplement program was run by controversial sports scientist Steve Dank, have sought legal advice after the NRL's revelations on Tuesday afternoon.

That number could rise should any players be issued with an infraction notice by ASADA and rubbed out of the game for an extended period for unwittingly taking performance-enhancing drugs in 2011.

The NRL's preliminary findings - which saw a $1 million fine, coach Shane Flanagan's ban for 12 months and former trainer Trent Elkin having his NRL registration cancelled - include that the club:

■ Exposed players to significant potential health risks;

■ Exposed players to possible breaches of the NRL's anti-doping rules;

■ Allowed persons without the necessary qualifications and training to administer supplements to players;

■ Failed to obtain the fully informed consent of players to the administration of particular supplements;

■ Failed to devise and implement systems to ensure compliance with appropriate standards to safeguard the health and welfare of its players;

■ Failed to take the appropriate action when it became aware that unsafe practices had been used in the administration of supplements to players.

Flanagan spent the first day of his ban meeting with his manager, Wayne Beavis, and Cronulla chief executive Steve Noyce for lunch at Brighton-Le-Sands.

The trio met another unidentified person for about two hours before Noyce left leaving Beavis and Flanagan alone, sitting in the back of the restaurant on General Holmes Drive.

When approached by Fairfax Media after the meeting, Flanagan (wearing a baseball hat and sunglasses) was reluctant to talk.

"Mate, I don't mean to be rude but I'm not talking," Flanagan said, before he walked off with Beavis.

Flanagan, who is understood to be exploring his legal options, has until January 15 to appeal his one-year ban.

The coach tried to keep a low profile since he was informed of his suspension just moments before a Cronulla training session on Tuesday.

Flanagan had left Remondis Stadium without an address to the players.

It is unclear if he will have an opportunity to do so before the players break for holidays.

The Cronulla board will meet tonight to consider its position.

The club yesterday closed ranks as players refused to comment before or after training - which was conducted by assistant coach Peter Sharp - in what was believed to be their final field session of the year.

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