Betting players to get life bans: Gallop - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Betting players to get life bans: Gallop

08/09/2010 05:52:02 PM Comments (0)

NRL boss David Gallop has warned anyone found guilty of involvement in the betting scandal which has gripped the game would face life bans from rugby league.

With the matter now in the hands of NSW Police - who this week set up a taskforce to investigate suspicious betting activity surrounding the round 24 match between North Queensland and Canterbury in Townsville - Gallop said the code was also prepared to hand down the harshest penalty.

He also said the league would review the concept of exotic bets, such as the first scoring play which has sparked the current investigation.

Betting agencies alerted the NRL when a large number of bets were placed on the Cowboys to open the scoring via penalty goal - an option which normally does not attract much attention.

"If these matters are proven, then you can expect to see us take the harshest action that we've got available to us," Gallop said.

"In terms of individuals obviously life bans are available to us and if this type of thing is proven then you would have to say that's very much on the cards.

"It's a matter of the most serious concern ... this manipulation of seemingly minor parts of the game is wrong and goes to the very core of the integrity of the contest."

Asked if he thought the players and officials throughout the game understood the seriousness of the matter, Gallop said:

"I would have thought the warning bells are ringing pretty loudly."

Question marks over exotic bets are not just an issue in rugby league, with cricket still reeling from accusations of match fixing involving members of the Pakistan side.

Gallop said the NRL's close relationship with betting agencies - with the league and a number of clubs having forged sponsorship agreements with various betting organisations - could actually prove beneficial in the sport's fight against possible match fixing.

Whether that relationship is enough to put a freeze on exotic options being offered was not yet clear.

"We've got some say in the types of bets that can be placed - we've actually got an improved position now that we've got deals with the betting agencies, access to information, ability to monitor betting - those things we didn't have in the past," Gallop said.

"Whether we can cut every type of obscure bet out is difficult to say, but we certainly get a greater say than we have had in the past.

"We'll certainly be reviewing the nature of the bet at some point."

Gallop denied reports the NRL was now also looking into other suspect matches, claiming no betting agency had alerted them to any other suspected stings.

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