7 Feb 2013

Warriors not implicated in Australian drugs investigation

9:39 pm on 7 February 2013

The Warriors rugby league club says it has not been implicated in the Australian Crime Commission's investigation which has revealed widespread use of banned drugs in Australian sport, with links with organised crime.

A year-long government investigation has found widespread use of banned drugs in Australian professional sport and links with organised crime.

Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah says he has no reason to believe the investigation affects the club in anyway and he has not been contacted by the Crime Commission.

Chief executive of the NRL David Smith says more than one club and more than one player is implicated in the investigation but would not reveal further details.

The Australian Crime Commission released the findings of a 12-month investigation into the integrity of sport and the relationship between professional sporting bodies, prohibited substances and organised crime on Thursday.

It says the links may have resulted in match-fixing and fraudulent manipulation of betting markets.

The commission says illicit drug use by professional athletes is more prevalent than had been indicated by sports drugs testing programmes.

In some cases it found players were being administered substances which were untested or not yet approved for human use.

Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said the findings were "shocking and will disgust Australian sports fans".

"Multiple athletes from a number of clubs in major Australian sporting codes are suspected of currently using or having previously used peptides, potentially constituting anti-doping rule violations," Mr Clare said.

"It's cheating but it's worse than that, it's cheating with the help of criminals."

In its report, the commission said it looked at the use of a new form of PIEDs (performance and image enhancing drugs) known as peptides and hormones, which provide effects similar to anabolic steroids.

Because criminal investigations are under way the report does not go into details.

Sports Minister Kate Lundy said sports organisations would be encouraged to establish "integrity units" and engage the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency and law enforcement agencies to root out the problems.

"If you want to cheat, we will catch you, if you want to fix a match, we will catch you," Ms Lundy said.