‘It Ripped The League Apart’: Beau Ryan Speaks About Sharks Doping Scandal

In 2011, the Cronulla Sharks were rocked by the biggest doping scandal of rugby league.

Alongside other sporting legends, Nathan Buckley and Derek Kickett, former Sharks player Beau Ryan spoke about his experience joining the club in 2013.

“I was there when the ASDA (Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority) scandal came out, but I wasn’t there in 2011 when all the allegations were made of doping,” Beau explained adding, “It ripped the league apart.”

“We got called into training one day and the integrity unit were there, the commission and all these people and they said, you’ve seen the news, this is going to be one of the darkest days in sport. Something happened in this club in regards to doping and stuff, be honest and tell us what’s happened because they’ve got ya.”

ASADA believed prohibited growth hormone-releasing peptides were part of Cronulla’s supplement program in 2011 which included injections, lozenges and creams.

“We were in the room for like 12 hours. That was the first day of the investigation,” Beau continued, saying that it was over a three month period.

“We’d be training and they’d go, alright four players boom. Straight into, like, an interrogation with ASADA.”

Beau said, at the time, around 40 percent of players were new in the team.

“I remember there were a few of us going, but what is it? And they were like they know. We were like… who’s ‘they’?”

“At the end of the day,” Beau continued, “they came out and said ‘drink that, rub that on your arm’. Everyone did it. You trust your process. And then you go to the front of the tribunal and they were like, well you should know what you’re putting in.. What? Are you going to test every gatorade you drink?”

Nathan Buckley, who had been the one to ask Beau about his involvement with the scandal, reflected on the former Sharks player’s experience.

“The integrity of the sport is crucial,” Nathan said, "and we want to prevent drugs in sport at all costs.

“When you consider Beau in that situation, he’s come in as a new recruit after the fact but then had to endure the scrutiny. His career gets affected by it.”

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