Federal Minister for Justice Jason Clare dropped the bombshell as Gillard Government sports heavyweights confirmed that Australian Crime Commission investigations are under way into match-fixing, illegal use of performance enhancing drugs and betting rorts.
The Minister described the findings as “disgusting” when he opened an explosive forum at Parliament House in Canberra, flanked by chief executives from Australia’s leading sports bodies including AFL, NRL, Cricket Australia and FFA.
“They will disgust Australian sports fans,” Clare boomed.
He revealed that use of performance enhancing drugs, illicit substances and match fixing "is rife" through Australian elite levels of sport.
Federal Minister for Sport Kate Lundy declared as a “line in the sand” with substantial extension of measures for investigation and possible criminal charges for cheating athletes.
“This is particularly serious,” Clare continued.
“Links between organised crime and players, exposes players to the risk of being coopted for match-fixing.
“This investigation has identified one possible example of that and that is currently under investigation
“These are the findings of this investigation.
“It’s cheating, but it’s worse than that.
“It’s cheating with the help of criminals.
"Wherever criminals are involved in influencing players, there is the risk that they will use that influence over players to fix matches.
"We've identified information that suggests that that had happened on one occasion.
"And the crime commission has referred that information to the relevant authorities for further investigation."
Clare warned he was legally restrained from naming even the sport under ACC investigation.
But he warned that investigators are well informed and advanced in their inquiry for offenders to consider escape.
“I make this point,” Clare said.
“Don’t underestimate how much we know and if you are involved in this come forward before you get a knock at the door.”