The NRL have eased any concerns over whether Cronulla will be able to play their season-opening fixture this weekend, confirming their clash with the Gold Coast will go ahead.
As the club continues to deal with the prospect of seeing as many as 14 players banned for use of performance-enhancing drugs, the NRL has reassured fans the Sharks will field a team on Sunday.
Speculation continued to swirl on Thursday that a number of Cronulla players were being offered six-month bans by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) if they admitted to using illicit substances.
While it's unclear exactly what the make-up of the Sharks line-up will be, NRL chief Dave Smith said there's no doubt the game will go ahead as planned.
"With the season kick-off just hours away we accept that the ongoing speculation around the ASADA investigation is causing incredible uncertainty for many in the game, particularly right now for Cronulla and its fans," Smith said via a statement on Thursday.
"It is an investigation that must be allowed to run its course and it is inappropriate for us to enter into speculation about what may be taking place."
Smith said the NRL would provide their full support to the Sharks until this drugs issue was resolved.
"Let me make it very clear, however, the absolute majority of our players - the absolute majority - are doing the right thing," he said.
"They are great ambassadors for the game, on and off the field as we will see at Allianz Stadium this evening.
"The Telstra Premiership is the closest and most exciting competition in sport and there is every reason for fans to look forward to a great year of rugby league."