Cowboys representative prop James Tamou says the NRL has taken the right moves to ensure the code is never again hit by a doping crisis.
Test and North Queensland star James Tamou believes new governance rules and player bans in the wake of the ASADA probe should ensure there is no repeat of the Cronulla doping saga.
Tamou’s finals-bound Cowboys are among clubs hit by the anti-doping investigation, with centre Matthew Wright outed for the rest of the season after accepting a back-dated 12 month ban along with 11 other current and former Sharks players.
NRL great Darren Lockyer has urged the code to learn the tough lessons from the 18-month investigation, and front-rower Tamou says measures taken by the NRL are a big step forward.
Tamou said mooted life bans from both the NRL and AFL for controversial biochemist Stephen Dank should be enough to deter people from repeating any such program at a club.
He also believed players would be a lot more wary about supplements given to them.
“You never want anything like that to happen and I think for the players with the penalty being given and them labelled cheats, it is as simple as that to ensure it won’t happen (again),” Tamou told AAP on Tuesday.
Led by the NRL’s Integrity Unit, measures introduced by the game’s governing body include: club medical, football and coaching staff to be registered and accredited, doctors to report directly to the club’s chief executive and not the head coach and all supplements provided to players to be approved by a supplements committee chaired by the club doctor.
Dank is at the centre of ASADA’s investigation into Cronulla’s supplements program in 2011 and Essendon’s regime in 2012.
He has been placed on ASADA’s register of findings, a precursor to him being banned for life from both the NRL and AFL. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
Tamou said he felt for Wright who was a 20-year-old at Cronulla in 2011.
“I remember seeing him when it (news of the investigation) first came out. He looked like he wanted to be in tears, he had his head down, and I think what really propped him up was the boys all rallying around him, giving him hugs and making sure he is alright,” Tamou said.
“When it all came out I think he felt embarrassed but we all rallied behind him and he is okay now.”