Penrith captain Kevin Kingston is confident the NRL club does not have a ‘drug problem’ despite the Panthers being mentioned in the Australian Crime Commission’s (ACC) investigation into doping and corruption in professional sport.
On Monday Penrith announced they had been ‘implicated or referred to’ in the ACC’s report – one of six clubs to be advised of that by the NRL but given no further detail.
But Kingston was quick to throw his support behind his club.
“We trust our sports scientists. We don’t take anything out of the ordinary. I barely take protein myself,” said Kingston on Tuesday.
“I don’t think there is a drug problem at our club.”
Kingston, who played the last three seasons with Penrith, said players remained in the dark as to what allegations were contained in the ACC report and that to his knowledge performance-enhancing drugs had never been used at the club.
“We haven’t been told anything,” said Kingston at Sydney airport as the team prepared to fly to New Zealand for Saturday’s trial match against the Warriors.
“I’ve only just seen a press release … I will speak to the players when we get over to New Zealand (but) we back our sports scientists at our club.”
Panthers assistant coach Trent Barrett said he too remained in the dark about the details of the report but joined those requesting that its allegations be made public.
“I’m really not privy to what has gone on, I have just woken up to this this morning,” Barrett said.
“It’s not just our club. Everyone in Australian sport would like to know what’s going on.
“The big question is what, why or when?
“All I can do is prepare the boys as best as I can for the game on the weekend.”
Newcastle, Manly, Cronulla, North Queensland and Canberra have also announced themselves as the other NRL clubs implicated in the ACC report.