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NRL boss vows to ban guilty parties for life after match-fixing scandal rocks rugby league

Police are investigating claims of rigged games at the highest level of the sport.

NRL boss Todd Greenberg.
NRL boss Todd Greenberg.

AUSTRALIA’S NATIONAL RUGBY League boss vowed life bans for match-fixing as police said today they were probing allegations of rigged games in the scandal-prone sport.

Chief executive Todd Greenberg promised to come down hard on anyone found guilty after police confirmed they were in the early stages of a match-fixing probe.

“This (match-fixing) is a threat which exists for all sport in this country and globally,” Greenberg told a press conference.

“The response from the NRL will be very clear — if any allegations are proven, then we will ban anyone found guilty for life.”

The Sydney Daily Telegraph and other media said the games under examination were the Manly Sea Eagles’ meetings with the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Parramatta Eels last year.

But neither police nor Greenberg would confirm which matches were under suspicion.

It follows revelations last week that the organised crime squad issued warnings to three NRL players after they were pictured having dinner with a number of convicted criminals.

There is no suggestion the three players are involved in the match-fixing claims, which Greenberg said were being treated seriously by the NRL.

“In recent times, our integrity unit have been working with police under the strictest of confidentiality to provide information and assistance to the police as they undertake that assessment,” Greenberg said.

Greenberg added that he was confident the overwhelming majority of clubs, players and officials “would never act to compromise the integrity of our sport”.

The NRL has been hit by match-fixing claims before, with Canterbury Bulldogs forward Ryan Tandy fined and placed on a good behaviour bond after being convicted of trying to fix a match between his team and the North Queensland Cowboys in 2010.

Tandy was found to have placed bets on North Queensland scoring the first points with a penalty goal. He was banned for life from the NRL and died from a suspected drug overdose in 2014.

The latest fixing allegations are another distraction for the hugely popular NRL, which last month fined the Eels AU$1 million (US€640,000) for salary cap breaches.

The NRL has also witnessed a litany of lewd and violent acts, drug abuse, racism and sexual assault allegations.

(C) AFP 2016

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