NRL creates integrity unit in response to probe into Australian sport

The NRL has appointed former Federal Court judge Tony Whitlam to head an integrity unit set up in the wake of Australian Crime Commission findings about the involvement of organised crime in the supply of performance enhancing drugs and match fixing.

New NRL chief executive Dave Smith joined the leaders of all major Australian sports, Federal Sport Minister Kate Lundy and representatives of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and the ACC in Canberra to announce the findings of an investigation.

Mr Whitlam will assist in the investigation process and to establish a permanent NRL Integrity Unit.

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Mr Smith said the NRL had also committed to:

- The establishment of a fully resourced NRL Integrity Unit;

- Conduct an audit and establish a register of personnel supplying performance services to players and or NRL clubs;

- Sanctioning any club or player found to have concealed information in relation to a breach of the NRL Anti-Doping Policy;

- Requiring team doctors to review any instance where supplements, substances or other procedures may have been administered without the prior approval of the team doctor;

- Introducing centralised testing for illicit substances to complement existing club programs.

“As sports we have to get this right and we will," Mr Smith said.

“We are committed to working with ASADA and the Government in dealing with these threats and in addition to that will strengthen our own investigative capability.

“Regardless of the outcome of those investigations, there is an opportunity here to take the initiative in terms of the integrity of in sport.

“Our fans and the absolute majority of our players deserve nothing less.”

Australian Rugby League Commission Chief Executive Dave Smith. Photo: Edwina Pickles.

Australian Rugby League Commission Chief Executive Dave Smith. Photo: Edwina Pickles.

The information that the Australian Crime Commission has supplied to the NRL is governed by strict legal conditions which prohibits further comment."