NRL responds to police inquiry into match fixing
NRL boss Todd Greenberg has welcomed NSW Police findings that there was no evidence of match fixing in the 2015 and 2016 seasons but says the code will remain vigilant.
The Strike Force Nuralda investigation found crime figures supplied players with prostitutes and cocaine and encouraged them to gamble to get 'inside' information for betting on NRL games, but failed to uncover any evidence of match fixing relating to three matches in 2015 and one in 2016.
In a statement released by the NRL this morning, Greenberg chose not to acknowledge NSW Police's findings around prostitutes and gambling.
Instead, Greenberg said the findings relating to match fixing allegations should give all fans confidence in the integrity of rugby league matches.
"It is reassuring to know that, after the most exhaustive police investigation, there is no evidence of match fixing in the NRL," Greenberg said.
"In fact, no one will be prosecuted as a result of the Strike Force Nuralda investigation.
"While that is pleasing, we will never become complacent and will continue to work with the police to deal with any issues identified which have the potential to compromise the integrity of our sport.
"In particular, we will continue to work with the clubs and players on drug and gambling programs - and to educate players on the need to make the right lifestyle choices."
Mr Greenberg said the NRL had already taken steps to improve the integrity of the NRL following revelations in May 2016 that police were investigating claims of match fixing.
Those steps include:
-Tightened access to dressing rooms to prevent undesirable persons gaining access to players;
-Curtailed the use of telephones by players before and during matches;
-Built the Integrity Unit from scratch to a team of 14, including dedicated investigators and intelligence analysts;
-Developed Integrity Agreements with betting operators to identify wagering risks, and;
-Entered into MoUs with relevant law enforcement agencies to provide information on suspicious and illegal activities, and built strong relationships with the relevant regulators.
Mr Greenberg said the NRL would work with the police on recommendations they have put forward to ensure organised crime does not infiltrate the NRL.
"Our position remains unchanged - if anyone is ever found to be involved in match fixing, they will face a life ban from the game," he said.
"But the message from this investigation is clear - there is no evidence of match fixing in rugby league and that represents a vote of confidence in our game for our players, fans and clubs."