Rugby League Betting Scandal Erupts, Unnamed Player Facing Six-Week Suspension
Rugby League "has been rocked by a betting scandal," according to Phil Rothfield of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. The National Rugby League is "on the verge of banning a star player for betting on rugby league games." A "big-name player from a Sydney club will be suspended for six weeks for breaking the code's strict gambling guidelines." A "number of other players will be fined for betting in smaller amounts, all caught in an integrity unit audit of TAB and sports bookmaker betting records." The NRL has delayed the announcement "until after Origin to protect sponsors and ensure a scandal-free build-up to Wednesday night's third game in the series at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane." The NRL will call a press conference to "announce the betting sanctions on Thursday." Officials "refused to reveal the identity of the player who has been suspended" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 7/8). In Sydney, Adrian Proszenko reported the "majority of officials and players caught betting on rugby league games are unlikely to be named and shamed when the NRL hands down sanctions this week." Players from Manly and the Gold Coast were "among those investigated by the game's integrity unit, which found no evidence of widespread abuse of betting rules." Most wagers "were small" -- mostly A$5 ($4.70) or less -- and there is "no suggestion of match fixing." There is no evidence of spot or match-fixing but the NRL, which has not had an "official betting partner since it severed ties with Tabcorp in 2012, still wants to send a message the behaviour will not be tolerated" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 7/8).