Raiders named in ACC report
Clouds over Raiders HQ in Bruce on Tuesday morning. Photo: Rohan Thomson
The Canberra Raiders have confirmed they have been named as one of six NRL clubs as part of the Australian Crime Commission investigation into performance enhancing drugs.
The club issued a statement on Tuesday morning saying it would support investigations by the NRL and the ACC.
“We can confirm we were contacted by the NRL late last night in relation to the ACC report, however we have no further details at this stage,” Raiders chief executive Don Furner said.
Series of calls ... David Smith. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
“Our club will continue to work with the NRL and ACC until these matters are resolved and will update our members, sponsors and supporters when we can.
“Until we are provided with more information we have no further comment on the matter.”
"We hope they get them and get rid of whoever is doing it,'' he said.
''If we found anything like that in our club, we would get rid of them. I trust other clubs would do the same. We're 100 per cent confident in the education programs we've got in place, the testing that's in place and the supplements being administered. Those are in our organisation and in our control.''
The NRL has informed clubs mentioned in the ACC's report into doping, match-fixing and organised crime in sport, with chief executive David Smith making a series of calls on Monday night to say they are under investigation or to give them the all clear.
Penrith, who had auditors sent to their premises after the report was released, confirmed they were another one of the clubs in the spotlight, while late on Monday night North Queensland also confirmed they were among those named.
"We have been mentioned in the report but we have no information on the context," Cowboys CEO Peter Jourdain said.
"Like all NRL clubs mentioned in this report, we will co-operate fully with the NRL and ASADA.
"Until we receive a briefing on Tuesday afternoon, we will not be making any further public comment. We strongly support this investigation."
Clubs who said they had not received any contact included South Sydney, Canterbury, St George Illawarra, Parramatta, Sydney Roosters, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Wests Tigers and Melbourne.
Cronulla and Manly, who have been linked with former Essendon sports scientist Stephen Dank, did not respond to Fairfax Media inquiries.
Newcastle, who also had NRL-appointed auditors check club computers last Thursday after the announcement, are expected to confirm being named in the report at a press conference on Tuesday.
The Warriors did not return calls from Fairfax Media.
Elsewhere, Curtis Johnston, who plays for the Rabbitohs' NSW Cup feeder club North Sydney and has yet to play in the NRL, has been stood down amid claims he is featured in the investigation.
Smith phoned club chiefs whose teams were named in the report following an ARL Commission meeting in Brisbane on Monday. Coincidentally, he rang them while an interview with Stephen Dank, who has been cast as a central figure in the affair, was being aired by the ABC. It is understood Smith told them they had been mentioned in the probe but said for legal reasons he could not be more specific or give more details. He told them he would be back in touch to brief them.
''The information that has been passed on to the clubs is simply that they have been referred to within the report,'' Smith said. ''The NRL is working with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority who will establish a more detailed briefing with the clubs regarding its investigation.
''We have an opportunity in this instance to make a clear statement about our values by working with the authorities to take every appropriate action. It is equally important that everyone is focused on maintaining a proper process and that represents an important responsibility in terms of what is both said and done.''
It has been reported that six clubs were named in the report but the NRL said they did not have the authority to identify them.
''Regardless of the outcome of any investigation, we are already committed to establishing the strongest integrity and compliance unit of any code and we are determined to see rugby league stronger for having addressed these issues,'' Smith said.
The Nine Network on Monday claimed Johnston was at the centre of an investigation following a series of damning text messages. It was believed Johnston claimed the messages were a joke. While refusing to name the player or club, NSW Rugby League boss Geoff Carr said a player had been stood down following an allegation of illicit drug use.