Cronulla great Paul Gallen has clapbacked in a big way after Mark ‘Spud’ Carroll accused him of backing Bronson Xerri amid his positive doping test.
The rising Sharks centre is facing a potential four-year ban after testing positive to a range of banned substances in November.
Following the news of Xerri’s suspension, Gallen criticised ASADA for the six-month gap between the test and the findings being revealed.
“At no point am I trying to justify what has happened. If Bronson has tested positive, he will cop whatever punishment that comes his way,” he said.
“But surely there has to be some questions asked about the timing of this? I think it is pretty clear I’m not a fan of ASADA after what we went through all those years ago.”
On Tuesday, former Souths and Manly enforcer Carroll called into to 2GB‘s Wide World of Sports program, of which Gallen is a regular guest, criticising the former Sharks skipper for apparently supporting Xerri.
“I can’t believe this kid did this and now Gallen wants to back him and say that it was okay? Are you cracking jokes?” Carroll said.
“If you want to take drugs, you don’t play our game – simple as that,
“Gall got slapped on the wrist for what he did, he got away with it and this kid, he’s going to have to pay the penalty.”
Gallen was given the chance to respond and he didn’t miss, accusing Carroll of being “two-faced”.
“It was a club-run program where players were duped and doped,” Gallen said of Cronulla’s 2011 supplements program.
“I was one of sixteen players to have pleaded guilty, and I’ll bet you that goose couldn’t name another two or three other players.
“I just love a big, tough guy with a big mouth.
“I was with Mark Carroll probably three or four months ago doing a luncheon with me and he’s shaking my hand, best mates in my face, nice as pie and then wants to get on the radio and say things like that.
“If you don’t like someone or think someone’s done the wrong thing, don’t shake their hand and be nice to them, be a man about it and say ‘you’ve done the wrong thing, I dont like you’.
“I just think he’s a two-faced coward.”
Gallen then refuted Carroll’s initial claims, saying he’d never backed Xerri since the news of his positive test broke.
“All he’s trying to do is create headlines for himself to probably get a job, because he’s a dumbs**t,” he said.
“One more thing – when did I back Bronson Xerri, by the way? Where’s any evidence that I’ve backed Bronson Xerri?”
10-9 Gallen after round one.