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Search for answers: NRL clubs respond to survey as auditors plan surprise raids in hunt for evidence

Date

Brad Walter, Michael Chammas

Under scrutiny ... NRL clubs are preparing to be audited.

Under scrutiny ... NRL clubs are preparing to be audited. Photo: James Alcock

NRL clubs are bracing for raids from Deloitte Forensic, with officials refusing to confirm if all clubs would be audited or if some had been specifically targeted.

Manly and Cronulla received surprise visits from auditors before Thursday's bombshell press conference about an Australian Crime Commission investigation into links between organised crime and sport, while Newcastle and Penrith have also been audited.

NRL officials will not say whether other clubs will also be audited as it is understood the investigators want to keep an element of surprise.

Fairfax Media understands auditors have taken computers from some clubs and are searching through emails and financial accounts to see if there are payments for supplements to anyone other than the club's usual supplier.

Most NRL clubs are confident they have followed the right medical procedures and haven't provided their players with illegal drugs or illicit substances.

The Herald sent all NRL clubs four questions on Friday in regards to the commission's findings that were announced on Thursday.

Wests Tigers, Penrith, New Zealand Warriors and South Sydney replied to the request but all declined to comment.

The remaining clubs referred the Herald to the club's website for their official statements.

These are the questions the Herald sent to all NRL clubs just before midday:

 

1.

Have any of your club officials or players been interviewed by the Australian Crime Commission?

 

2.

Do you think any NRL matches during the past three seasons have been influenced by players involved with criminals attempting to fix matches?

 

3.

Are you confident that the players at your club are not taking illegal substances?

 

4.

Are you confident that players in the NRL are competing without the benefit of illegal substances?

CANBERRA RAIDERS

1. No comment.

2. NC.

3. ''We have no knowledge of anything existing in our club and we're happy to co-operate with the NRL's integrity unit once it's established.''

4. NC.

BRISBANE BRONCOS

1. NC.

2. NC.

3. ''Everything our players take you [the public] can take - you can go and buy it today at a chemist. It's all in line with the AIS supplement programs. We have been tested like everyone else over the years and never had a problem. We have nothing to hide.'' - coach Anthony Griffin.

4. ''To be honest I don't understand some of the things they are talking about, so I can't comment on what other people are doing.'' - coach Anthony Griffin

SYDNEY ROOSTERS

1. NC.

2. NC.

3. We are confident of our compliance and are committed to working with the authorities as required to ensure this intolerable element is eradicated from our game.

4. NC.

N. QUEENSLAND COWBOYS

1. No.

2. NC.

3. Yes.

4. NC.

MANLY

1. NC.

2. NC.

3. We're confident, in regards to our internal processes, that we've abided by all the guidelines and rules in the past.

4. NC.

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA

1. NC.

2. NC.

3. 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.

4. NC.

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

1. NC.

2. NC.

3. ''We understand all clubs will be audited and, as a club, we have absolutely nothing to hide. We have every confidence in our coaching and playing staff.''

4. ''I just hope we're not on a scale where teams have been heavily involved in it … it remains to be seen just how widespread it is.'' - coach Wayne Bennett.

CANTERBURY BULLDOGS

1. NC.

2. NC.

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

4. NC.

MELBOURNE STORM

1. NC.

2. NC.

3. We are confident all our strength and conditioning, medical staff and all football processes and procedures are in accordance with all regulatory requirements, due diligence and ongoing best practices are applied across the board.

4. NC.

GOLD COAST TITANS

1. NC.

2. NC.

3. As a club we have a zero-tolerance policy that is strictly enforced. We believe there is no place for drugs in our game. I've got absolute confidence that the club is fully compliant with the standards set and regulated by ASADA and WADA.

4. NC.

CRONULLA SHARKS

1. NC.

2. NC.

3. We have every confidence in our players and our staff, all of whom would support the need for these matters to be addressed on a game-wide basis.

4. NC.

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