Cosa Nostra is a term used by gangsters in the feared American Mafia. It means “our thing” or “this thing is ours”. It seems some sportsmen in this country have their own unspoken rituals too.
No player wants to be outed and no player will speak publicly. That seems to be the early impression as this story continues to break.
That story off course comes on the back of the Australian Crime Commission’s twelve month investigation which led to yesterday’s announcement that certain players had been involved with illegal substance abuse to gain an edge against their opponents.
A recently retired player spoke last night on Triple M’s Rush Hour. Remaining anonymous, his comments were chilling.
“From the time that I came into the game [NRL] to when I retired, I noticed a big change in body shapes especially and some of the players we were playing against were getting a lot fitter, faster, and stronger and it became one of those things that you just put up with,” the anonymous player said.
“We knew [of the cheating], it wasn’t a case of seeing these people actually taking them – but word of mouth got around pretty quickly about the ones who were and you could just see in the body shapes and the way that these people were playing football.”
The player was then asked if he knew of players in any sport taking peptides.
“It’s not hard to see who is, especially if they take it out of nowhere – all of a sudden you can see the body change pretty easily, and not only that, you can feel it if you play against them too.
“I mean, running into somebody, or tackling somebody who hasn’t had it one year then had it the next, it’s a significant change in intensity and definitely in energy levels as well so it’s one of those things… yeah, I can tell, I can pretty much tell who’s had it and who hasn’t.”
The faceless whistleblower went on to admit that players were not approached directly but they definitely knew who and where to get it from.
“You can definitely see body types change over a period of an off-season, and it’s just so simple to see and you just wonder how the hell they’re getting away with it so I guess if they bring in the blood samples, that’ll go a long way to cancelling them [PEDs] out.”
It is a sobering thought. Certain players have been actively trying to get their hands on this stuff and are pumping it into their bodies.
Sadly until players are outed, everyone is guilty.
For all the clean players who improve their bodies in the off season, people will question how they got that way.
The only way we can start cleaning this mess up from the inside out is to somehow get the cleanskins to talk.
Unfortunately, it probably wont happen.