Sailor 'doing it tough', says Whitaker - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sailor 'doing it tough', says Whitaker

By Paul Mulvey 15/05/2006 07:14:29 PM Comments (0)

A contrite Wendell Sailor has slid back into Sydney and spoken regretfully about the positive drugs test which could cost the Waratahs a place in the Super 14 final.

Sailor spoke with NSW captain Chris Whitaker who said the winger was remorseful.

"I've spoken to him a couple of times. He's doing it tough as anyone would," Whitaker said at Waratahs' training for Friday's semi-final in Wellington against the Hurricanes.

"He's regretful, that's for sure."

After fleeing to his mother's home in north Queensland following his axing from NSW's crucial loss to the Hurricanes last Saturday and his indefinite suspension from rugby, Sailor returned to his wife and two children in Sydney.

"It's been a pretty tough time," Sailor told Channel Nine.

"My thoughts are with the boys at the moment. I put a little bit of pressure on them at the weekend. I didn't play my part."

Sailor has a week to decide whether to accept the result of his A sample and take a lengthy suspension or request an analysis of his B sample.

If the B sample also returns positive, the 31-year-old faces a two-year international ban from both rugby union and rugby league.

But Sailor's NSW teammates and coach Ewen McKenzie vowed to stick by the Wallaby winger, whose absence forced a disruptive reshuffle in the Waratah backline in the loss to the Hurricanes which cost NSW the right to host the semi-final.

"Our culture still fully stands by sticking by each other," said vice-captain Phil Waugh.

"Until more comes out and it's all finalised we'll be sticking by Wendell and that's the way this team is.

"One indiscretion doesn't take away a friendship, he's a good friend of mine and I will stick by him."

McKenzie says he will stand by Sailor as a person but he's disappointed the Wallaby winger is at the centre of another controversy.

"People make mistakes but obviously some people make more than others but I'm not going to condemn him as a person," he told Sydney radio station 2KY.

"He's got the rest of his life to deal with as well so I'm certainly not going to cast him adrift in that context."

Former Wallaby captain John Eales, however, had no qualms that Sailor as a rugby player should be cut off from the game if he is proven to have taken drugs.

"If he tests positive then without a doubt he should be put out of the game for a minimum two years," Eales said.

"Someone who's been given so many chances has let the game down."

Sailor has had his first talks with his legal representatives from the Rugby Union Players Association.

Under new regulations, any hearing will be conducted by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority rather than the Australian Rugby Union as has been the case in the past.

Although civil liberties lawyers argue the announcement of Sailor's ban should not have been made until after his B sample was tested, a leading sports lawyer said there was nothing wrong with the procedure.

Australian Olympic Committee lawyer and president of the Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Association Simon Rofe said the NSWRU had no choice but to announce it had suspended Sailor.

The NSWRU respected confidentiality by only saying Sailor was banned for a violation of its code of conduct without revealing details.

The media uncovered the positive drugs test.

"The NSWRU and rugby in general has done the right thing," Rofe said.

Rofe said Sailor's case was completely different to the situation in the AFL in which three players' names have been suppressed after twice testing positive to recreational drugs.

The AFL players were tested out of competition under the league's own drugs code which stipulates confidentiality until players test positive three times.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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