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Match-fixing claim zeroes in on NRL, AFL

By AAP .
8 February 2013 09:21PM EST

THE match-fixing claim tabled in the Australian Crime Commission's (ACC) explosive report into Australian sport appears to be zeroing in on the NRL and AFL.

As rival codes moved quickly to clear their names, the process of elimination leaves the nation's two major sporting codes in the spotlight.

The NRL maintained its silence due to legal restraints.

"We are unable due to legislative restrictions placed on the NRL to divulge any of the contents of the briefing received," a NRL spokesman said.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said match-fixing was already a focus for the code.

"Significantly, the AFL's integrity unit operates across match-fixing, doping and other sports integrity issues, which enables an overarching approach to countering risks of corruption," he said.

As part of the ACC's wide-ranging report - which involved the use of performance-enhancing drugs with links to match-fixing and organised crime - Federal Justice Minister Jason Clare revealed that authorities were investigating a potential case of match-fixing.

Cricket Australia and the Australian Rugby Union distanced themselves from the match-fixing inquiry on Thursday, while Football Federation Australia boss David Gallop on Friday seemingly removed the A-League from the equation.

"It's worth noting ... neither the authorities involved yesterday nor any other authorities are investigating any A-League match," Gallop said.

"We have had it confirmed overnight by our overseas surveillance agency that they don't see any issues of concern around integrity around any A-League match."

That appears to leave the NRL in the spotlight, a code already familiar with match-fixing scandals with Ryan Tandy found guilty of conspiring to gain a financial advantage for others by manipulating the first scoring play in a match in 2010.

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