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December 17: Sharks sanctioned over ASADA scandal; Fatty gets vote

On this day, Geoff Toovey announces exit strategy, Paul Vautin voted in as Sea Eagles chairman and NRL hands down ASADA sanctions to Sharks.


The Sun-Herald reports that the Sydney Bulldogs are set to release Dean Pay, Jim Dymock, Jarrod McCracken and Jason Smith from their contracts regardless of the outcome of their Industrial Court action against the club. The four are tipped to join Parramatta.


After being awarded life membership of the Manly Warringah club, Northern Eagles captain Geoff Toovey announces 2001 will be his final season in rugby league.


Sydney businessman John Singleton pulls out of his $16 million bid for the Brisbane Broncos.


Manly favourite Paul Vautin is reappointed to the board of the Sea Eagles and is unanimously appointed chairman.


A Maroons team led by Test captain Darren Lockyer wins the final of the Harvey Norman Beach Footy tournament staged at Sydney’s Maroubra Beach. The Maroons win the final 3-2 against a Young Guns outfit led by Melbourne’s Billy Slater.

Jarryd Hayne passes for Parramatta in 2009.
Jarryd Hayne passes for Parramatta in 2009. ©NRL Photos


Parramatta fullback Jarryd Hayne finally inks an extended deal with the Eels that will tie him to the club until the end of 2013. Hayne calls on the NRL to relax the demands on third-party sponsorship agreements or face more leading players transferring to rival codes.


A meeting of the Newcastle Knights’ Members Club votes to allow Nathan Tinkler’s Hunter Sports Group to retain ownership of the club.


The NRL announces heavy sanctions for the Sharks over the drugs scandal that rocked the game in 2013.

In announcing a $1 million fine and the suspension of coach Shane Flanagan for 12 months, the NRL says the club failed to protect the health of its players and exposed them to potential breaches of anti-doping rules.

“We would regard such conduct as totally contrary to the game’s rules and the game’s values – we will not accept practices that put our players at risk,” said NRL CEO Dave Smith. Former trainer Trent Elkin is deregistered by the NRL. Assistant coach Peter Sharp takes charge of the team. 


After discussions with the North Queensland board, Cowboys coach Paul Green rules himself out as a contender for the vacant Queensland State of Origin coaching role.


This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.               

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