A lengthy investigation into the NRL has failed to uncover any allegations of match fixing, however did find evidence of illegal gambling, drug supply and money laundering.
NSW Police confirmed they had finalised the two-year long investigation, dubbed Strike Force Nuralda, with authorities confirming they would not be pressing any criminal charges.
“During the investigation, strike force detectives identified 13 potential persons of interest, spoke with 161 witnesses, and numerous statutory hearings were undertaken at the NSWCC,” Police said in a statement.
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“Police also spoke with players, referees, NRL staff, professional punters, and associates of the persons of interest.”
Detectives said the investigation examined “the practice of supplying ‘inside’ information for betting purposes,” with reports a number of players and officials allegedly passed on information to punters.
“While investigators were provided information and noted suspicious betting behaviour, no one has been or will be prosecuted under Strike Force Nuralda,” Authorities confirmed.
The investigation also examined the practice of ‘point shaving’ where strong teams, or significant players within teams, who are expected to win by big margins, pull back to only win by small margins.
“Investigators did not uncover evidence of this practice under Strike Force Nuralda,” they said.
The potential criminal offences of drug supply and money laundering, which do not relate to the NRL, have been referred to other investigators from the Organised Crime Squad to conduct further inquiries, NSW police confirmed.
There are reports that NRL players are being lured into underworld circles with drugs, sex & money.
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) October 26, 2017
The NRL has since responded to the conclusion of the investigation, with CEO Todd Greenberg saying the review should “give all fans confidence in the integrity of Rugby League matches”.
“It is reassuring to know that, after the most exhaustive police investigation, there is no evidence of match fixing in the NRL,” Mr Greenberg said.
“While that is pleasing, we will never become complacent and will continue to work with the police to deal with any issues identified which have the potential to compromise the integrity of our sport.”
Mr Greenberg did however state that the code will “continue to work with the clubs and players on drug and gambling programs, and to educate players on the need to make the right lifestyle choices.”