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Clubs need police help: Speed

By AAP .
8 February 2013 10:41AM EST

LEADING sports administrator Malcolm Speed says sports clubs cannot weed out criminal links to their organisations without police help.

Speed, the executive director of the coalition of major professional and participation sports, says the introduction of State police integrity forces is long overdue.

The former head of the International Cricket Council said criminal identities linking themselves with teams and athletes are usually also sports fans and their backgrounds can't always be easily traced.

The Australian Crime Commission report released on Thursday revealed they had uncovered instances of corruption and criminal involvement in sport.

Speed said sports organisations have long been calling for police to assist.

Victoria already has a police integrity force in place and now other states will follow.

"Criminals don't come along with tattoos on their forehead telling us that they're criminals," Speed told ABC radio.

"They're members of the community, they're often sports fans, they become involved with clubs or players.

"You can't expect sporting clubs to investigate their own supporters, they simply don't know who they (the criminal elements) are.

"Sport for some time has been saying to police forces, 'we need information, we need you to tell us some of these things.'

"It's very hard for a sporting club to know which of their supporters have criminal records or are under investigation.

"One of the positives that has come out of this is there will be state police integrity forces.

"Maybe we'll find out if there's organised crime there."

Speed said he was shocked by Thursday's revelations but said it was important not to overact until all the facts are on the table.

"I think when the full picture comes out in about six months we'll see that there is a mixture of naivety, stupidity and there will be some people at clubs who are in the frame here and there might be some corruption," he said.

"There might be some organised crime involved in this, but I just want to reserve judgement until we know the full picture."

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