"I break my phone every three weeks; it wouldn't be any good anyway": Manly winger David Williams. Photo: Wolter Peeters
If Manly were bothered by their links to the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigation, they were not showing it on Wednesday. As light-hearted banter greeted questioning about the impact of the investigation on the rest of their season, forward Anthony Watmough even raised a smile when he realised he still had his mobile phone on him as he headed on to the training paddock.
The phone had reportedly been examined as the Manly side returned to Sydney after its round-13 match against the Warriors in Auckland. Now facing a round-22 match against the Warriors on Sunday, the Sea Eagles players faced questioning about Customs' actions. ''I break my phone every three weeks; it wouldn't be any good anyway,'' Sea Eagles winger David Williams said, when asked if he had been subjected to any similar action.
With Manly officials due to begin their interviews with ASADA investigators this week, and the club's players in coming weeks, the Sea Eagles have an unwanted distraction as they look to gain momentum into the finals. But they appeared comfortable.
''I'm not aware of the situation, so I can't really comment, but if that is happening, obviously it is a concern,'' coach Geoff Toovey said of Watmough.
''It could be distressing for the people involved, but I'm unaware of the situation as a whole.''
Asked if the players were becoming frustrated by the progress of the investigation, hooker Matt Ballin said: ''As it's been explained to us, it's a process, and in order to find out what's going on, they have to go through it.
''We just have to be as patient as we can, and deal with it.
''The club's done their due diligence with us, and run us through what the processes are. That's all we can really do. We'll just prepare ourselves as best we can, and deal with it in that way.''
Cronulla's interviews continued on Wednesday, with Jayson Bukuya and Nathan Gardner meeting ASADA investigators. Toovey, meanwhile, is expected to be interviewed on Friday.
''It's coming up,'' Toovey said. ''It should be fairly short. I haven't got too much to say.
''But obviously they've got a process to follow, and the club is participating in that.
''Hopefully it'll be all over soon.''
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