You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Barba the only offender, say Sharks

AAP logoAAP 8/11/2016 Darren Walton

Distressed Cronulla boss Lyall Gorman is adamant star fullback Ben Barba is the only Sharks player to have tested positive to cocaine.

The NRL premiers have been rocked by revelations that Barba returned his second positive test to the prohibited drug in less than two years just four days after the club's grand final triumph last month.

Gorman on Tuesday admitted he was "absolutely surprised" by Barba's slip-up given the NRL had warned players that every club faced a "Mad Monday" blitz of drug testing.

Gorman, though, is equally confident no other Sharks players crossed the line during grand final celebrations.

"What I can say is that we're not aware of any players who have tested positive since then," Gorman said.

"I'd be very surprised if that was the case. We've been advised by the NRL that no other player has tested positive during that period."

Barba's positive test, which prompted the 27-year-old former Dally M Medallist to seek a release from the club to deal with "massive" personal issues, comes two years after the supplements scandal threatened to decimate the club.

But while conceding it is disappointing, Gorman hopes the Barba setback doesn't take the gloss off Cronulla's historic breakthrough.

"We care greatly for our players and when anyone of our players finds themselves in a situation like this, it's disappointing," he said.

"Does it have an impact on the premiership win? There's a little air of disappointment and sadness across the playing group.

"But we've got to really remain focused on what we achieved this year as a club on and off the field, of which the ultimate of course was winning the grand final.

"In terms of cocaine, all of our players get tested regularly. The NRL players across the board get tested regularly, as do other professional athletes in other sports.

"This is the first occasion since early 2015 that Benny's recorded a positive test.

"So my view it is not an ongoing issue in that context, but I think there are broader issues that Benny freely admits that he wants to go and address and from my point of view they were very personal."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon