St George Illawarra has open door policy: Doust

The Dragons play at WIN Stadium last year. PIcture: ANDY ZAKELI
The Dragons play at WIN Stadium last year. PIcture: ANDY ZAKELI

St George Illawarra chief executive Peter Doust will open the doors of the club’s WIN Stadium training headquarters to tackle revelations of performance-enhancing drugs and match fixing in the NRL.

A bombshell exploded across the national sporting landscape yesterday, when the four national football code bosses – as well as cricket and federal government officials – met in Canberra to put on a united front in the face of the damning 47-page Australian Crime Commission report.

Doust said he was ‘‘confident of our compliance’’ under Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority rules and declared he was ‘‘not aware of any issues to do with match fixing’’ involving the club.

The NRL sent a request to all clubs yesterday, demanding detailed information  on  their sources and expenses of supplements for players.

There will also be a widespread investigation into the manipulation of results for financial benefit with links to organised crime.

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‘‘We had no prior knowledge of any investigations and [yesterday’s] announcements certainly indicate that we have a major widespread issue for sport in this country,’’ Doust said.

 “Today we received correspondence from the NRL outlining their expectations and requirements from our club.

‘‘We have indicated to the NRL that we welcome the investigations and will supply them with the information  they are seeking.

 “It is important that the relevant authorities have the necessary support and cooperation to deal with such issues. We are not aware of any issues to do with match fixing.’’

Doust said the club had already taken steps to provide the NRL with the necessary information.

Dragons high performance manager Andrew Gray revealed in yesterday’s Mercury that the club had their supplements – imported by a company in the United States – independently tested before use.  “I have spoken with our football management team and the collation of the requested information is already under way,’’ he said.

“We are confident of our compliance and are committed to working with the relevant authorities at all levels to support our sport and ensure performance enhancing or illicit drugs are not part of our game.

“Our club already complies with established procedures and audits, this is not a new thing.’’

Last year, Kiama rugby union player Mitchell Spackman was banned from playing for two years after attempting to import supplements containing a growth hormone-releasing peptide called GHRP-6.

The supplements were seized by customs as they came into the country, but Spackman maintained he had no idea they contained an illegal substance.

 Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver said yesterday there were four cases involving the 15-man code and performance enhancing drugs, three of which were amateur players.


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