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Sharks drug arrest 'disappointing': CEO

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/05/2017 Lisa Robinson

The Cronulla Sharks deny the club has an endemic drug problem after standing down their chairman Damian Keogh who's been arrested for drugs possession.

Keogh handed in his resignation on Saturday morning after he was allegedly found on Friday with with a small resealable bag containing what's thought to be cocaine.

Chief executive Lyall Gorman says the club could not have gone from wooden spooners in 2014 to premiers last year if there was discipline, alcohol, or drug issues in the club.

"If those things are endemic you just don't achieve what our club has achieved over the last two-and-a-half years on or off the field," he said.

The Cronulla chairman's arrest came within a day of three NRL players were also allegedly caught with cocaine.

Sydney Roosters NRL star Shaun Kenny-Dowall was charged with drug possession after he was allegedly caught with just under half a gram of cocaine at a Sydney nightclub on Friday.

And it was revealed by the ABC on Saturday that two high-profile Kiwis players were embroiled in drugs allegations after the Anzac Test on Friday night.

New Zealand Rugby League says it was made aware of an alleged incident involving Kiwis captain Jesse Bromwich and teammate Kevin Proctor in Canberra.

"We are working with the NRL while investigations into the alleged incident are on-going and New Zealand Rugby League will not be making any comment until more information becomes available," it said.

The NRL says it's been told of a number of serious matters involving the alleged use of illicit substances.

"The Game has taken steps over many years to highlight the risks associated with the use of illicit drugs," NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said

"Ultimately individuals are accountable for their own choices, and the League's capacity to eliminate the use of illicit drugs by its participants faces similar challenges to that faced by society."

Cronulla CEO Gorman refused speculate on whether drugs were a particular problems for the National Rugby League.

"I think it's not for me to call on whether it's endemic across the game. There's a broader question about society than just the game of rugby league," he said.

He told reporters in Sydney that it's a very disappointing and challenging day for the club, and they are trying to allow Keogh the time he needs to address the allegations in his own way.

"He expressed great remorse to me that he'd let me down personally and that he felt that if these allegations end up being proven to be correct the impact it could have on the club and the game," Gorman said.

Police say they searched the 55-year-old man at a licensed premises on Bourke Street in Woolloomooloo at about 7.50pm on Friday.

The man has been arrested and issued with a field court attendance notice for possessing a prohibited drug. He is due to face Downing Centre Local Court on June 30.

Keogh, a former Australian basketball star who made three Olympic Games teams, took over at the Sharks during the supplements scandal in 2013.

He took the reins in the aftermath of the controversy, which saw coach Shane Flanagan suspended for a season and 17 former and current players banned.

Keogh helped rebuild the struggling club from wooden spooners to premiership winners last season when they beat Melbourne 14-12 in the Grand Final.

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