VIDEO: Drugs scandal overshadows season opener 

Source: Illawarra Mercury

I'll tell you one thing about this Sharks/ASADA situation - if I was hauled into a room and told by some legal eagle to sign off on copping a six-month suspension when I truly believed I was innocent, I'd tell them to go jump.

And I can only applaud the players involved who have done that, if indeed they have.

This whole scenario is as puzzling as it is disturbing.

Since the story spread like wildfire on Wednesday afternoon, everybody has gone underground - the Sharks, ASADA, the NRL.

Do you agree? Have your say in the comments section below.

And the result is that there are many more questions than answers.

Were the substances in question actually banned by ASADA at the time the players were allegedly taking them?

Did the players know the substances were banned? Did the club not do its homework and was it administering something it thought was legal, but in fact wasn't? What happens next?

There's a lot to come out of all of it still.

For me, the one thing that stands out clear as day is that we should all be talking about last night's blockbuster between the Rabbitohs and Roosters and what an exciting season we're all about to witness - not about drugs and likely suspensions.

It's round one. What happened to starting the season on a good note?

Seriously, this whole Cronulla thing could not have come at a worse time for the league.

I know I'm only a former front-rower and no Rhodes scholar, but I'm confused.

I still don't see how a player can get banned from our game for either taking something that wasn't illegal at the time or something they had no idea was illegal.

If an employee at the club is coming from a doctor's or scientists' point of view with advice or recommendations, you trust them.

Players aren't scientists.

I know it's naive, but back in my day, after training there would be 30 milkshakes on a table in the team room and one of them had your name on it and you took it and drank it.

You didn't take it to the lab and get it tested before you drank it.

It's a different story if you know you're about to consume a banned substance. But if you don't know, then how are you to be blamed?

You'd get kicked out of a club for being a pain in the arse if you wanted to test everything you had to consume.

Suspensions aside, what will all this cost the Sharks? Will anyone want to sponsor them? Will they get a naming-rights sponsor for their stadium? Surely no-one will want to go near them now.

If off-field stuff isn't going to be dramatic enough, what about on-field?

If they do lose 14 players to suspension - and that's merely hearsay at the moment - it's going to make for an interesting season ahead.

I think they would still be obliged to field a team - no matter how tough that might be.

There are still plenty of players at the club - guys like Luke Lewis and Beau Ryan and Todd Carney - who weren't there during the suspicious time.

But the big question is, if a player is suspended and therefore not getting paid, does their frozen salary still count toward the salary cap?

Or would the club be able to go and spend that money again to try to get a few new players in, but also to top up the contracts of some of the juniors and fringe players they would have to pay?

The NRL needs to come out and fill fans in on these unanswered questions.

There are thousands of Sharks fans and general fans of the game wanting answers, because they're confused.

And they all deserve answers before this saga draws out too much longer.

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