Officials from English Super League club Hull Kingston Rovers have moved to distance the club from any involvement with Stephen Dank, amid speculation the man at the centre of the NRL and AFL’s doping investigations may be heading to England.
After being sacked by Essendon at the end of the 2012 season, Dank reportedly began a role with Hull last October as a high performance consultant. He is now the club’s head of recruitment for Oceania.
But Hull chief executive Mike Smith said Dank held no official role with the club and has assured England’s Rugby Football League the sports scientist is merely friends with Rovers coach Craig Sandercock from their time together at Manly.
”From our club’s point of view I have spoken to the RFL and I have also spoken to Craig Sandercock on three or four occasions about this and Craig assures me that Stephen Dank is having no involvement with the club,” Smith said.
”Craig is a friend of Stephen Dank’s; they have been friends for many years and they do have conversations from time to time. But from a club perspective we have our own nutrition and strength and conditioning departments and we have support from the university, so we don’t need any involvement with Stephen Dank.
”I can also put on record that Stephen Dank is not paid a penny from the club as he has no involvement from a club point of view.”
Smith admitted he was concerned about the effect that being linked to Dank might have on the club’s image and rejected reports that Dank would help the eighth-placed Rovers prepare for the Super League finals.
Smith made it clear Dank would not be welcome at the club.
”We do believe in people being innocent until proven guilty. However, Stephen Dank would not be welcome at Hull Kingston Rovers until I have some clearance from the RFL that everything is OK,” he said.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.