Rugby is clean: White
Brumbies coach Jake White says rugby union has a "massive clean slate" with performance enhancing drugs and no team would "even contemplate match fixing".PT1M15S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2e2oy 620 349 February 8, 2013
World Cup-winning coach Jake White says match fixing hasn't been a problem in rugby union, "and won't be".
The Australian Crime Commission announced on Thursday that personal relationships between athletes and organised criminals "have resulted in match fixing and the fraudulent manipulation of betting markets".
The commission's report did not reveal the codes in question, but the coach of the ACT Brumbies was quick to dismiss suggestions they could occur in his sport.
Confident ... rugby union's "magnificence" makes it hard to rig, says Jake White. Photo: Getty Images
"The one thing that's magnificent about rugby union is that it's such a difficult game to even think about match fixing," said White, who guided South Africa to victory in 2007.
"In other games when the margins are nil-nil results, or a team concedes one goal … rugby is such a fluid and dynamic game that it would stick out like a sore thumb if you even try to do something that's match fixing.
"If you think about a prop forward kicking a goal and there's money on that, people would smell a rat from a mile away."
The ACC revealed that its probe, code-named Project Aperio, found evidence of illegal performance-enhancing drugs, as well as possible attempts to fix matches and manipulate betting markets.
White said rugby union had "a massive clean slate" when it came to drugs.
"Every player at the World Cup was tested, and I don't think anyone was reported for testing positive. It's a great advert for rugby union in the world that we've managed to keep our sport drug-free.''
The idea of match fixing was also difficult to imagine in the AFL, according to coach Kevin Sheedy, but he admitted that all sports were open to corruption, calling the report's findings a "rude awakening for a lot of people".
"Our [sport] will be difficult [to fix], it's a bouncing-ball game," said the inaugural GWS Giants coach.
"From my point of view there's so many close games now, it's a tight contest, you've got about eight coaches in every club.
"Look at last year's grand final, three minutes to go and there's a kick in it," Sheedy said.
The new head of Australian Rugby Union, Bill Pulver, said on Thursday the report was "a very timely wake-up call for all professional sports in Australia".
"We were aware for some time of issues relating to performance enhancing drugs, but less aware of connections to organised crime and potential match fixing,” Mr Pulver said.
He said that his organisation would have "complete co-operation" with the Australian Crime Commission and USADA when it came to "putting initiatives in place to preserve the integrity of Australian sport".
Both the AFL and the Australian Rugby Union already have an integrity unit. In response to the report, the National Rugby League has announced its own integrity unit.