Cronulla Sharks End their Season as Controversially as they Played it.

Cronulla Sharks' Mad Monday raises a few eyebrows. Photo:

Cronulla Sharks’ Mad Monday raises a few eyebrows. Photo:

The Cronulla Sharks have ended their season as controversially as they endured it. Players from the beleaguered club were spotted at the popular Coogee ‘Sauce Wine Bar’ on Mad Monday receiving the attentions of what looked to be two topless waitresses.

This, in itself may attract a nod and a wink; these are footballers after all. But when an enterprising photographer snapped the players with the waitresses he soon found himself surrounded. The players demanded he delete his photos. When he refused they began to intimidate him.

Understandably the players took exception to being photographed with the waitresses, one wearing little more than a pair of black underpants. What they seem to have misunderstood is that it is the photographers job to take photos and it is their job to maintain their club’s code of conduct.

And while there is nothing illegal about going to a topless bar, it, perhaps, sends a message the club would rather avoid. Certainly intimidating a photographer is contrary to the image the club wishes to present.

Todd Carney, was spotted in the bar celebrating with his former teammates. Carney was infamously sacked for his ‘bubbler’ photograph circulated on social media earlier in the year.

And then there was the seemingly endless ASADA probe into the Sharks’ supplement program of 2011. Several current Sharks players accepted a deal offered by ASADA, admitted taking banned substances, and were made to sit out the final weeks of the season.

In all this is a year the Sharks would most probably like to forget. Players being snapped with a topless waitress may attract a few questioning glances; intimidating the photographer who took the picture is, however, a little more serious.

The drug bans handed out by ASADA are likely to come under review by the World Anti-Doping Authority for being too lenient. Athletes from other sports used social media to vent their disbelief at the paltry sentences ASADA offered. With the revelations of Captain Paul Gallen’s meteoric improvement since 2011 more questions need to and should be asked.

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