The NRL is accused of an ‘abhorrent abuse of power’ over shocking act in reaction to viral video of five Roosters stars in

  • Sydney Roosters stars were reportedly target-tested 
  • Four players were wrongly accused of drug taking 
  • According to reports, those players had to undertake drug tests 

The NRL reportedly target tested the four Roosters stars wrongly accused of taking illicit substances the night before a game. 

Roosters players Terrell May, Brandon Smith, Joseph Suaali’i, Naufahu Whyte, Spencer Leniu and Zach Dockar-Clay featured in a live video May posted on streaming platform Twitch, with the footage clocking in at just over an hour long.

May was giving away Roosters items to subscribers. However, a heavily edited version of the video went viral, attracting a host of potentially defamatory comments from fans who falsely claimed some of the players were using drugs.

Some footy fans falsely accused the players of taking drugs while off-camera in the footage, which has been examined by Daily Mail Australia and shows no proof of any illegal activity. 

Daily Mail Australia does not infer that anyone depicted in the video acted illegally or broke any NRL rules.

Four Sydney Roosters stars were reportedly target-tested by the NRL

Brandon Smith (centre) was one of four players wrongly accused after an edited video went viral on social media this week

Brandon Smith (centre) was one of four players wrongly accused after an edited video went viral on social media this week

The video was a light-hearted open forum with fans, with the players happily chatting with their supporters, sending shout outs and giving away products to lucky supporters.

The Roosters later slammed the accusation, launching a staunch defence of its players. But the Sydney Morning Herald reports that the four stars were target tested by the NRL in the aftermath of the episode.

A furious Clint Newton hit out at the ‘abhorrent abuse of power’ wielded by the NRL.

‘It’s an abhorrent abuse of power,’ the Rugby League Players Association boss said. ‘The players opt into this policy. If this is the way it’s going to be rolled out, we’ll have a serious think about blowing it up. This is not the way it is intended to be used.’ 

The NRL has the power to target test players if it has information relating to the possible use of drugs, however it depends on the time of year the alleged incident occurred.

Smith, alongside former teammates Cameron Munster and Chris Lewis were not tested following their white powder scandal in 2021 because the incident occurred out of the season, although the trio copped a one-match ban and were fined a total of $49,000.

RLPA chief Clint Newton labelled the NRL's move an 'abhorrent abuse of power'

RLPA chief Clint Newton labelled the NRL’s move an ‘abhorrent abuse of power’

Dally M medallist Kalyn Ponga and Newcastle teammate Kurt Mann were target-tested in 2022 after video emerged of them leaving a toilet cubicle together in a pub. The findings of those tests remain confidential. 

The most recent example of a target test is that of Sharks star Braydon Trindall, who was tested three days after he failed a roadside illicit drugs and alcohol test after their win over North Queensland in round seven. 

The SMH adds that the NRL has no say in who or when clubs are targeted, with the process carried out by an independent pathology lab. 

NRL policy also sets out that it ‘should be impossible for an individual player to know how many tests he may face’ and ‘the timing of each testing session varies so that there will be no pattern discernible to the players as to when tests will take place’. 

But Newton is demanding clarification on the policy. 

‘Someone at the NRL needs to explain what the threshold of a target test is because that’s what this was,’ he said. ‘Anyone who says different may as well change their name to Pinocchio.’