By STEVE MASCORD BY the time you read this, the first interviews involving NRL players and ASADA should have taken place. The uproar over Friday’s Jon Mannah story is irrefutable evidence that this has gone on far too long. People with “inside knowledge” are saying the evidence gathered by the Australian Crime Commission is damning […]


By STEVE MASCORD THE relationship between rugby league in Australia and its former overlord, News Corporation, changed significantly at the beginning of the week. Players across the game were upset with a story last week in News’ Sydney tabloid, The Daily Telegraph, which quoted from a leaked report into alleged drug use at Cronulla in […]

Battling The ASADA Armada

By STEVE MASCORD EVERYONE has already just about forgotten Curtis Johnston. The 23-year-old winger actually liked playing reserve grade for South Sydney – because the Rabbitohs’ feeder team is North Sydney, with whom he and his family have an affinity. That all ended in early February, when he became the first – and so far […]


By STEVE MASCORD HERE at The Big Issue, we try to leave the on-field, rule-related stuff to fellow columnist Mark Geyer. He played for Australia, after all. But when it comes to the debate over tries being disallowed due to obstruction rulings, you don’t need to have donned the green and gold to know something […]

Flanagan Blasted Sharks Upon Return To Work

By STEVE MASCORD COACH Shane Flanagan has defended his decision to blast his players upon his return to Cronulla, saying they didn’t follow his instructions while he was on a club-enforced suspension. There was little in the way of sentiment when Flanagan – stood down by the club as part of the ASADA investigation into […]


By STEVE MASCORD OVER the next few days and weeks, up to 50 NRL players have a big decision to make. It may well turn out to be the biggest of their lifetimes. In Monday’s Sydney Morning Herald, ASADA chief Aurora Andruska said the only way athletes could be assured of having 75 per cent […]

DISCORD 2013: Edition 12

By STEVE MASCORD THIS proposal for clubs affected by the drugs bans being loaned players by other clubs raises some fascinating questions about what sports organisations really owe their broadcasters. The ASADA investigation is all about the integrity of sport – but what affect does artificially propping up a team found to be full of […]


By STEVE MASCORD ONE of the comments that have been made about the whole ACC Investigation is that sports fans can’t process it because we are used to swift justice. Someone stiff-arms a guy on the weekend and by Wednesday night they’re in front of the judiciary and they’re out six weeks. That’s it. By […]

Brent Kite Says Dobbing Tactics Will Tear Game Apart

By STEVE MASCORD VETERAN Manly prop Brent Kite says ASADA’s reliance on whistle-blowers dobbing in their mates will seriously damage rugby league culture. Manly  – one of six clubs named in the Australian Crime Commission report on doping – took the field against Brisbane just a couple of hours after Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan was stood […]