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Bulldogs and Australian forward Willie Mason is considering legal action against two Sydney newspapers that yesterday named him as the player who had tested positive to drugs and was fined $25,000 by the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs are refusing to confirm or deny that Mason, or any player, was fined by the club after testing positive to a recreational drug.
Both The Daily Telegraph and Sydney Morning Herald yesterday relied on senior sources when they went to print on the Mason story, claiming he tested positive to drugs despite the forward?s denials.
Mason says he has never tested positive to any drug and according to his management, is considering launching a defamation case against those reporting it to be fact.
Both newspapers, who in recent times have been careful not to name players involved in off-field incidents such as the Bulldogs sexual assault allegations and the stealing of money on the recent Ashes tour, had no problem in naming Mason as the player fined yesterday.
"Willie has instructed us that he has never tested positive to any drug at any time," Mason?s manager Greg Keenan said in a statement yesterday.
"That being the case we have referred the matter on to our lawyers for the purposes of receiving advice in relation to possible defamation action.?
Mason, who was recently fined for wearing inappropriate clothing when being interviewed by Police over the Coffs Harbour sexual assault allegations, arrived at training yesterday in the back of a car being driven by Bulldogs media manager Bradley Clyde.
Club Chairman George Peponis held a media conference later in the day to re-inforce the club?s stance on not confirming or denying that Mason or any other player had tested positive to cocaine.