Six Australian Rugby League Clubs in Drugs Probe
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Six Australian rugby league clubs confirmed on Tuesday (February 12) they are under scrutiny by anti-doping authorities in the wake of an explosive government report into the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs in Australia. The clubs Manly, Cronulla, Newcastle, Penrith, North Queensland and Canberra were informed by governing body, the National Rugby League, that they had been named in the report, the teams said on their websites.

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SHOWS: SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA (FEBRUARY 12, 2013) (NINE NETWORK - NO ACCESS AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND / PAPUA NEW GUINEA / AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-BASED INTERNET SITES, MOBILE PLATFORMS OR SITES OF MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS BASED IN THOSE COUNTRIES, NVO CLIENTS / SMH.COM.AU / NEWS.COM.AU) 1. DAVE SMITH, NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE (NRL) CHIEF EXECUTIVE ARRIVING AT NEWS CONFERENCE 2. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVE SMITH, NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE (NRL) CHIEF EXECUTIVE, SAYING: "I can't comment on the information that I've been privy to as part of a confidential meeting. What I can say is these are serious matters. And I've, sorry, and what I've also said is, right from the outset I said it involved multiple clubs and multiple players. So, I think as a sport we've taken this very seriously, the board and I have taken this very, very seriously in terms of the way that we have approached this, and we will continue to co-operate but make sure the process is fair and as transparent as it can be." UNKNOWN LOCATION (FILE) (SEVEN NETWORK - NO ACCESS AUSTRALIA / .COM.AU INTERNET SITES / ANY INTERNET SITE OF ANY AUSTRALIAN BASED MEDIA ORGANISATIONS OR MOBILE PLATFORMS / AUSTRALIAN NVO CLIENTS / SMH.COM.AU / NEWS.COM.AU) 3. BLURRED VISION OF PLAYERS ON PLAYING FIELD CANBERRA, ACT, AUSTRALIA (FEBRUARY 12, 2013) (AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION - NO ACCESS AUSTRALIA / .COM.AU INTERNET SITES / ANY INTERNET SITE OF ANY AUSTRALIAN BASED MEDIA ORGANISATIONS OR MOBILE PLATFORMS / AUSTRALIAN NVO CLIENTS / SMH.COM.AU / NEWS.COM.AU) 4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN SPORTS MINISTER KATE LUNDY SAYING: "Now I know, there are frustrations about information getting into the public domain but each day we can see how focussed both the codes are and the authorities in getting the appropriate amount of information out so people know what's occurring now." NEWCASTLE, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA (FEBRUARY 12, 2013) (SEVEN NETWORK - NO ACCESS AUSTRALIA / .COM.AU INTERNET SITES / ANY INTERNET SITE OF ANY AUSTRALIAN BASED MEDIA ORGANISATIONS OR MOBILE PLATFORMS / AUSTRALIAN NVO CLIENTS / SMH.COM.AU / NEWS.COM.AU) (PLEASE NOTE: PLAYERS OF NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS ARE SHOWN AS THEIR CLUB HAS BEEN NAMED BY AUTHORITIES.) 5. NEWCASTLE COACH WAYNE BENNETT WITH NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS PLAYERS ON PLAYING FIELD 6. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEWCASTLE COACH WAYNE BENNETT SAYING: "They want us to confess to something. I'm racking my head what we've got to confess to. I've been through the staff, I've checked with all the players. Whatever they're looking for, it hasn't happened in the past 18 months." SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA (FEBRUARY 12, 2013) (SEVEN NETWORK - NO ACCESS AUSTRALIA / .COM.AU INTERNET SITES / ANY INTERNET SITE OF ANY AUSTRALIAN BASED MEDIA ORGANISATIONS OR MOBILE PLATFORMS / AUSTRALIAN NVO CLIENTS / SMH.COM.AU / NEWS.COM.AU) (NOTE PLAYERS OF NRL TEAM PENRITH ARE SHOWN AS THEIR CLUB HAS BEEN NAMED BY AUTHORITIES) 6. NRL TEAM PENRITH AT SYDNEY AIRPORT 7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PENRITH CAPTAIN KEVIN KINGSTON SAYING: "It's business as usual today. We got a full day of travelling and getting ready for our first draw." UNKNOWN LOCATION (FILE) (SEVEN NETWORK - NO ACCESS AUSTRALIA / .COM.AU INTERNET SITES / ANY INTERNET SITE OF ANY AUSTRALIAN BASED MEDIA ORGANISATIONS OR MOBILE PLATFORMS / AUSTRALIAN NVO CLIENTS / SMH.COM.AU / NEWS.COM.AU) 8. BLURRED VISION OF ATHLETES ON PLAYING FIELD STORY: Six Australian rugby league clubs confirmed on Tuesday (February 12) they are under scrutiny by anti-doping authorities in the wake of an explosive government report into the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs in Australia. The clubs Manly, Cronulla, Newcastle, Penrith, North Queensland and Canberra were informed by governing body, the National Rugby League, that they had been named in the report, the teams said on their websites. The report, the result of a year-long probe by Australia's top criminal intelligence unit, has also implicated two Australian Rules football teams. The revelations have plunged both rival football codes into crisis ahead of the start of their seasons in March and caused shockwaves in Australia, long proud of its image as a nation that plays fair. NRL chief executive David Smith declined to provide details of the probe into the clubs but said the governing body had been working with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) for a "number of weeks". He told reporters that he was given a confidential briefing several weeks ago by the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), the country's top criminal intelligence unit behind the report released last week. "I can't comment on the information that I've been privy to as part of a confidential meeting. What I can say is these are serious matters. And I've, sorry, and what I've also said is, right from the outset I said it involved multiple clubs and multiple players. So, I think as a sport we've taken this very seriously, the board and I have taken this very, very seriously in terms of the way that we have approached this, and we will continue to co-operate but make sure the process is fair and as transparent as it can be," Smith said in Sydney. The clubs were not given any details about the probe, but said in their statements they would co-operate fully with the NRL and ASADA. Smith said the clubs would be briefed by ASADA on Tuesday and called on people to come forward. The Australian Crime Commission report released last week said it had found "widespread" use of banned performance-enhancing drugs among professional and amateur athletes, with links to gambling and organised crime. The report has fuelled anger among Australia's top athletes and politicians, who have criticised the report's authors for being short on details and for blackening the name of clean sportspeople. Australian Sports Minister Kate Lundy also spoke about the way the information has been released. "Now I know, there are frustrations about information getting into the public domain, but each day we can see how focussed both, the codes are and the authorities, in getting the appropriate amount of information out, so people know what's occurring now," she told reporters. Newcastle coach Wayne Bennett, training with his players, said auditors had gone through his club's records dating back to 2005 but he did not know what his players were supposed to have done. "They want us to confess to something. I'm racking my head what we've got to confess to. I've been through the staff, I've checked with all the players. Whatever they're looking for, it hasn't happened in the past 18 months," Bennett said. The Penrith Panthers left for a trial match in New Zealand on Tuesday. "It's business as usual today. We got a full day of travelling and getting ready for our first draw," Penrith captain Kevin Kingston said. One Australian Rules football team, the Essendon Bombers, have confirmed they are under scrutiny by ASADA for their use of supplements given to players. The governing body Australian Football League has declined to name the second club being probed but has confirmed one player is under suspicion.