Trent Barrett is adamant the doping saga that has engulfed Manly won’t impact his team’s 2016 NRL campaign.
The Manly coach fronted the media on Friday morning, a day after the club’s former supplement associate Darren Hibbert claimed he had mixed an endurance-boosting supplement into players’ sports drinks during their 2011 premiership-winning season.
Hibbert said the illegal substance was added without the knowledge of any of the players or coaching staff, however the claims have already been rubbished by officials who were involved with the club at the time.
Barrett, who only joined the club this season, said the added spotlight wouldn’t affect his team ahead of their clash with defending premiers North Queensland on Saturday.
“That’s not an issue,” he said.
“It’s certainly not an issue for me. None of us were here.
“It was a long time ago and it certainly won’t affect what we’re doing.”
Manly were investigated as part of ASADA’s wide-sweeping investigation into supplement use in sport in 2013.
Stephen Dank and Hibbert – known in sporting circles as “The Gazelle” – were both known associates of the club, with the latter working with them between 2004 and 2011.
Hibbert alleges he secretly mixed WADA-banned Myo-inositol Trispyrophosphate, more commonly known as ITPP, into sports drinks he called “the Mix” for Manly, before handing them to unknowing conditioning coach Donny Singe at the end of the 2011 season.
Invoices reportedly obtained by News Corp Australia show Manly purchasing 3kg of the sports drink from Hibbert ahead of their successful finals campaign.
However Singe, who cooperated with ASADA during the original investigation, on Thursday said he had done research himself to ensure everything was above board.
The comments come after then-assistant coach Geoff Toovey told Fox Sports on Thursday night Hibbert was “missing a few brain cells” and would not have been given access to players.
There is no suggestion any of Manly’s coaching staff or players knew of the alleged addition of the illegal substance.