Press Conference – Canberra

Transcript

Press Conference

Canberra

7 February 2013

JASON CLARE: Today I am releasing the findings of a 12 month investigation by the Australian Crime Commission into drugs in Australian sport, and its links to organised crime. This investigation, code named Project Aperio, was undertaken by the Australian Crime Commission with the support of ASADA and the TGA. The Australian Crime Commission is Australia’s leading criminal intelligence organisation. It has the powers of a standing royal commission. It has the powers to hold coercive hearings, to force people to give information, and it’s used those powers in this investigation.

The findings are shocking and they’ll disgust Australian sports fans. The work that the Australian Crime Commission has done has found the use of prohibited substances including peptides, hormones and illicit drugs, is widespread amongst professional athletes. The evidence to date indicates this is not the majority of athletes, but we’re talking about multiple athletes across a number of codes, we’re talking about a number of teams.

The findings indicate that drugs are being facilitated by sports scientists, coaches, support staff, as well as doctors and pharmacists. In some cases, sports scientists and others orchestrating the doping of entire teams. In some cases players are being administered with drugs that have not yet been approved for human use.

The investigation has also found organised crime is involved in the distribution of these drugs. This is particularly serious. Links between organised crime and players exposes players to the risk of being co-opted 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. There are legal limits to the information that I can provide you with today, but I make this point. Don’t underestimate how much we know, and if you are involved in this, come forward before you get a knock at the door. The information and intelligence that’s been collected by the Australian Crime Commission means we believe multiple potential criminal offences have been committed and we’ve referred that information to the Australian Federal Police, as well as state and territory police.

A classified version of the report that we’re releasing today has been transferred to the Australian Federal Police and police and other law enforcement authorities across the country. And in addition to that, more than 100 intelligence reports developed by the Australian Crime Commission as part of this investigation have been referred to law enforcement authorities across the country.

That’s just the start. I’d now like to ask Senator Lundy the Minister for Sport to outline the further action that’ll be taken

KATE LUNDY: Thank you Jason, thank you Minister, thank you for coming today. As Minister Clare just outlined, the Australian Crime Commission has today released its findings into a 12 month investigation into the integrity of Australian sport.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) will now take over the investigation where evidence has been found to contravene the World Anti-Doping Authority Code and undermine the integrity of our national sporting codes.

Ladies and gentlemen, today is about the integrity of sport. Australians love their sport and our sportsmen and women are role models and sources of inspiration for so many young Australians. Standing here today with the CEO’s of some of Australia’s major sports is a statement to all those that wish to ruin sport.

If you want to dope, we will catch you. If you want to fix a match, we will catch you. Governments, authorities, and sports at all levels agree on the importance of the integrity of sport.

And it is through this agreement that, wring closely with the Government, the members of the coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports have agreed to the following actions:

They will establish integrity units to deal with doping, betting and ethical issues within each of their sports;

  • They will cooperate fully with ASADA and law enforcement agencies in a joint investigation;
  • They will call on their athletes to come forward, to own up and co-operate with investigators, and this could possibly reduce their sanctions;
  • They will enact a multi-code policy to share information and implement doping sanctions across codes; and
  • They will enforce a zero tolerance approach for any support staff who are involved in peddling inappropriate substances and provide assurances that they will not be employed by other codes.

The Gillard Government is committed to upholding the integrity of sport in Australia, and we have acted.

  • We will legislate, and we have introduced into the Senate a bill to strengthen ASADA’s investigative powers requiring people of interest to attend interviews, co-operate and provide necessary documents, and information; if they don’t, they will face civil penalties;
  • We have doubled the resources to ASADA to allow them to investigate thorough and complex investigations associated with these matters;
  • We will work with sports through the National Integrity of Sport Unit, in the office of sport in my department, with sports as they establish their own integrity units to deal with these doping and other ethical issues; and
  • They will put in place formal arrangements to refer to relevant agencies instances of inappropriate activity by medical practitioners, pharmacists and other health workers.

The ACC report highlights the link between organised crime, drugs and sport with a focus on match-fixing. The Government is aware of this and we have acted decisively to protect the integrity of sport.

In June of 2011 the Government the government secured a landmark agreement with the then State and Territory Sports Ministers to implement a National Policy on Match-Fixing in sport, and we have asked State and Territory governments to develop nationally consistent legislation so that there is no state or territory in which cheaters can hide.

As a result the Federal Government established a National Integrity of Sport Unit to oversee these issues.

The Majority of States and Territories have either legislated or begun the legislative process to criminalise match fixing in their state or territory. Completing this is now urgent.

Together with my State and Territory colleagues, sports and betting agencies are working together to ensure the integrity of sport is maintained, but as today has shown, we must remain vigilant to meet these challenges.

In the coming months I will continue to work with my State and Territory Sport Ministers to develop stronger National Sports Integrity policies.

In those discussions, I will continue to strongly encourage States that are yet to criminalise match-fixing to do so as soon as possible and will promote the following strategies to toughen our approach to integrity issues;

  • We will address the unethical practices in sports that are beyond doping and WADA code;
  • We will focus on the issues of probity in the commercial and other relationships of the sports; and
  • We will develop strategies to address the issues of substance abuse, dealing with illicit drugs in particular.

Together the Gillard Government and the CEO’s of Australian major sports codes are committed to eradicating doping from sport.

I urge all Australians involved in sport at all levels to work together with us to ensure the integrity of sport. For those that wish to ruin the games that we love, the Government has a simple message: If you want to cheat, we will catch you. If you want to fix a match, we will catch you.

And as you can see by the investigations that have taken place, that we are well on the way to seeking out and hunting those who will dope and cheat.

I would now like to Introduce James Sutherland, who will talk on behalf of the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports. Thanks James.

JAMES SUTERHLAND: Thank you Minister. As chairman of the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports. I can say that Australia’s major sports and authorities are rock solid behind the governments determination to tackle this issue. Sport plays an important part in the Australian way of life, and sports fans deserve nothing short of a total commitment from big sports as we leave no stone unturned to ensure fair play and to ensure the integrity of our sporting contests.

I think it is important to note that Australian Sport hasn’t been sitting on its hands. We’ve all been working very hard on issues such as anti-doping , corruption and illicit drugs. But as CEOs of our individual sports we are shocked this week to hear confidential briefings about the risks from the crime world.

Each individual sport will have its own unique circumstances to respond to. And specifically the ARL and the NRL have specific concerns arising out of this report. But as a collective we are united in the need for action. And individually we understand that we are all at risk and none of us can afford to have our heads in the sand.

JASON CLARE: Okay. We’ve got a number of people here and we’re all happy to take questions. Fran.

QUESTION: Just [indistinct] this report – this press release, I haven’t seen the report yet, but the emphasis on the ACC investigation seems to be about drugs in sport. But you also talk about match fixing and betting. I mean, what is the emphasis here and what’s the weight of the evidence suggests the organised crime links are through the drugs or are though the betting circuits. And we’ve, you know, heard the stories of people, especially younger people being duchessed(*) already, sort of grooming them for match fixing.

JASON CLARE: Sure. I’ll say a few things and then I might ask Mr Lawler to elaborate. The report is focused on the use of drugs in sport, but there is a real link, and the work that’s being done by the Crime Commission, the coercive hearings that have been held have identified the involvement of organised crime in distributing those drugs to players across a number of codes. But it’s also identified the risk, and in one case the reality, of potential match fixing.

Wherever criminals are involved in influencing players, there is the risk that they will use that influence over players to fix matches. I said a moment ago that we’ve identified information that suggests that that has happened on one occasion, and the Crime Commission has referred that information to the relevant authorities for further investigation. Let me ask Mr Lawler to say a few words.

JOHN LAWLER: Thank you Minister. The issue of organised crime is one that’s affecting nations globally. It’s affecting sports globally. We hear from Europe to Miami, from Spain to Washington. And Australia’s not immune. Organised crime is about money by any means, by any route, they’ll corrupt, they’ll have no respect for rule of law, or for individuals’ rights or privacy.

This is what we’re confronting here in the report. And organised crime has many facets that it will go to where there are lucrative profits to be made, low risk, regulatory weakness, and they will exploit those vulnerabilities. They will exploit people. They will exploit the players and the codes, and corrupt them, seek inside information, and ultimately fix matches. Additionally, there are large amounts of money at stake here through betting arrangements that are now global, and this adds an additional incentive for organised crime to be involved.

The Commission, working very closely with ASADA and the TGA, have opened up a window on this threat. It is a threat that is extraordinarily serious, and I am very pleased to say that the codes, when engaged, have been absolutely supportive of ASADA and the Commission’s work and hence their appearance here today to support the way forward. It’s one thing to look at what organised crime has already done, our real challenge is to harden the environment so they don’t get a sustained foothold for the future.

QUESTION: How did we get to this stage? Are the testing regimes not good enough, are the criminals getting smarter, or did the administrators who are here today just take their eye off the ball?

JOHN LAWLER: No, this was a proactive initiative by the Australian Crime Commission, and ASADA and the TGA. We have, through our board of the Australian Crime Commission, which includes the heads of all the major law enforcement agencies in this country, saw this problem emerging. And they have, in a proactive way, authorised the commission to deal with the issue of high risk and emerging drugs.

QUESTION: I guess my question was, how did it emerge? How was this problem allowed to emerge in the first place?

JOHN LAWLER: Well what we’re dealing with here is a threat of serious and organised crime. And it’s pervasive, so it’s an issue that we’re all confronting and will continue to confront. So, that’s the reason it has.

KATE LUNDY: Perhaps I could say something on that. One of the great challenges, of course, in the fight against drugs in sport, is keeping up with the science that develops by the cheats. And one of the great challenges of ASADA is making sure that their suite of powers, their capacity to identify drug cheats, remains at the cutting edge. That’s one of the reasons that we have tabled our bill to strengthen ASADA’s powers.

These issues were raised in the Wood review into Cycling Australia as well, there was a specific recommendation to strengthen ASADA’s powers in that regard. And we were informed by the USADA report into the Lance Armstrong affair that it was investigative powers, not straight dope testing that led to the revelations that emerged. So in this way we are keeping our laws up to date with the powers that our authorities need to conduct effective investigations to stamp out doping in sport. But there’s no doubt that we have to stay at the forefront as the cheats and the criminals always try to keep a step ahead of the law. Our challenge is to maintain, not only maintain pace with them, but stay ahead of the game in stamping out this level of criminality and cheating.

QUESTION: The report says that cases have been referred to state and federal police, what’s your understanding of the likelihood of charges being laid against players or officials.

JASON CLARE: If you don’t mind I might ask Mr Lawler to explain.

JOHN LAWLER: Thank you Minister. We have disseminated, as the Minister indicated, over 100 dissemination of products to state and territory law enforcement, federal law enforcement and the regulatory authorities. So a large amount of material in relation to what we’ve uncovered in the 12 month investigation has already been disseminated to those appropriate bodies.

We are hopeful that criminal charges will be laid, but ultimately, these are investigations that have to take place, these are investigations that are in the hands of some of our partner agencies, so it would be inappropriate for me to pre-empt outcomes of investigations before those investigations are complete, but we are hopeful that criminal charges will be laid and the commission will be working hard against that organised crime threat as it always does, to make sure that we bring those persons appropriately before the courts.

QUESTION: Athletes as well as officials?

JOHN LAWLER: Well, you’ve heard the Minister speak about some of the matters that have been referred, and there are criminal offences that have been disclosed by players during the course of our investigation.

QUESTION: [Indistinct question]

JOHN LAWLER: Well, the Minister raised the issue of legal constraint, and I do have legal constraint under the ACC Act in what I can say and the level of detail that I can go to. It is important to note that the Government recently passed legislation which, for the first time ever, allowed the commission to actually brief the private sector. So that’s an important development in how the commission in gathering information can let people know who have got the threats and risks that they’re required to deal with.

QUESTION: I was going to say, that current match fixing investigation, can you say what code?

JOHN LAWLER: No, I can’t say what code. I can only tell you that there is one, and it’s been referred to the relevant authorities. As you know it would be inappropriate of me to stand up here and to declare that while that investigation is still very much ongoing.

QUESTION: Considering that you can’t go into a lot of detail, is there a particular sport that was targeted in this investigation? And has there been a sporting match, as far as you know, that’s been fixed in Australia?

JASON CLARE: First and foremost, no code is immune. I made the point that we’re talking about multiple sporting codes, and multiple teams. We have here the chief executive officers of a number of codes and they’d be happy to elaborate on the work that they are doing in their codes, but legal constraints require me not to identify the codes that have been investigated, but you may like to ask some questions of the individuals that are here today.

QUESTION: [Indistinct] hear from the chiefs?

JASON CLARE: You certainly can.

QUESTION: Did you have any inkling that it was this bad? What evidence, if any, did you see that this was going on? And if it is this bad, how on earth can you deal with it?

ANDREW DEMETRIOU: I think most people would know that in 2008 the AFL established its own integrity unit. And we did that on the basis that we see as our greatest threat to the game – the integrity of the game. And in that the three areas that we targeted was gambling, it was the use of performance enhancing drugs, and it was compliance with our salary cap.

And from 2008 onwards we have added resources and sophisticated technology and investigative powers, and they’ve been very very effective. And as time’s gone by, we’ve added the opportunity for much more intelligence gathering, and with that intelligence gathering and information sharing that’s already in existence, which is legal, we’ve tackled lots of issues. Particularly that are related to betting.

The issue of performance enhancing drugs, we were privy to a briefing by the Australian Crime Commission, it came as a shock because we’ve always had a very thorough and very rigorous testing regime. But as we hear today, when you start to talk about organised crime, when you start to think about the sophistication of drugs, and how the scientists are ahead of the testers and that there’s tests that can’t actually catch particular sorts of drugs, then you do have to rely on intelligence gathering.

So we’ve done everything we can, but we can do more.

QUESTION: [indistinct question]

ANDREW DEMETRIOU: No. No. The Essendon story came about because the Essendon Football Club approached the AFL in recent days and asked the AFL and ASADA to conduct an investigation because they were being asked various questions by various people including the media. And the chairman took it upon himself to ask various people around the club, and he came to the AFL and said I want an investigation.

QUESTION: Nothing to do with the ACC investigation the other way?

ANDREW DEMETRIOU: To the best of my knowledge, no.

QUESTION: Andrew, is the problem that your players aren’t getting paid enough? I mean obviously match-fixing and gambling are rife in countries where players don’t get paid particularly well. Do we need to increase the bounty?

ANDREW DEMETRIOU: I don’t think that match-fixing relates to players that don’t get paid well. I mean you’ve just seen a report in recent days where allegedly 380 soccer matches, including the Champion’s League, may be involved in match-fixing. And I guarantee you, players from Barcelona and Real Madrid and other will be getting paid substantially. But organised crime, as you’ve heard from Mr Lawler, is very pervasive. They find vulnerable players, they infiltrate. And all of us are here today to say that today’s the day we draw a line in the sand and collectively we address that, we tackle that. Sport is too important in this community. Everyone wants to watch a sport that’s pure, and we welcome the briefings from the Crime Commission and we welcome the Federal Government action.

QUESTION: Are you personally aware of any players that have been involved in match-fixing or performance enhancing drugs that we’re not aware of?

ANDREW DEMETRIOU: No.

QUESTION: David Smith, can I ask you, and you obviously can’t say, but how many NRL clubs and players or staff may be involved in this investigation and this sort of match-fixing [indistinct]?

DAVID SMITH: Look the first thing I would say is just to echo Andrew’s comments in terms of solidarity between the codes, the CEOs of the codes, the Government, ASADA and all the criminal agencies. I think it’s – we need to be strong. Sport deserves it. We’re strong, our fans, the majority of our athletes deserve us to be strong. So it’s the first thing I would say.

The second thing I would say is we’ve worked with the Crime Commission in the last week or so, and information has come forward for NRL specifically that affects more than one player and more than one club. Now as has already been said by a number of the ministers, we can’t go into more detail than that.

QUESTION: [indistinct question]

DAVID SMITH: We’ve been working with the Crime Commission on a range of issues that are outlined I think in the report. And there are a number of bits of information that indicate that we need to work hard to understand and get to the bottom of those sorts of issues. We have already begun with ASADA, we’ve begun the investigation. As I say we’ve been talking for a number of days. The other thing that rugby league specifically has done, because we recognise – we have information to suggest there is a wider issue, is yesterday appointed Tony Whitlam QC, ex federal judge.

And he will take responsibility to work with ASADA on the investigation that will follow through. He will also take responsibility to set up – permanently set up a wide-ranging integrity and compliance unit for rugby league. And that will start immediately. So I think in one sense, as has been said, this is a really important time for sport. I think we have an obligation to make sure that we do treat this very seriously and that we respond accordingly. It’s a very serious issue. I think in addition to that we will add investigators to support the ASADA investigation. And we will do everything we possibly can to coordinate. Our fans and the majority of our players deserve that.

QUESTION: [indistinct] identified any kingpins who have performed or facilitated wide-spread use of drugs in sport in the way that he did? And secondly, when will we actually know more about who you’re investigating, when will we actually learn more?

JOHN LAWLER: If I can take the second question first, because it is important that the community understands why it is that we can’t provide the information. And that goes to the heart of the special powers that have been entrusted to the Commission. As you heard the Minister talk about the standing Royal Commission powers in effect, whereby a people’s right to self-incrimination is removed. So people are required under criminal sanction to provide information to the Commission. And a Parliament has then seen fit to provide protections to those people so that it doesn’t interfere with a fair trial or indeed the reputation of that person. And that’s the reason why we can’t go into the detail that we might have hoped.

As far as the kingpins, we – I don’t like to talk about it like that. I think it projects organised crime individuals beyond where they need to be projected to. But suffice to say we have now a very good understanding through the window in the prism that we’ve looked at this problem through of some key individuals and key methodologies, and vulnerabilities more important, that are being exploited by organised crime. And the challenge for us here today and going forward is to understand those vulnerabilities and to then work to close them off to the best extent we can.

QUESTION: How many AFL clubs do you believe were involved in this – in the drugs issue particularly?

ANDREW DEMETRIOU: I don’t know the answer to that other than as already mentioned, we’ve had our briefing. We’ve already commenced investigation with ASADA and we’ll be working with ASADA and like you’ve already heard from the CEO of the NRL, we too are adding investigators. We’ll work with ASADA, the Crime Commission, we want to work with the state police bodies. And we’re urging all state governments to help us amend legislation to help with information sharing. But to the direct question, I don’t know.

QUESTION: [indistinct] majority of clubs or a number of clubs?

ANDREW DEMETRIOU: I don’t know. I don’t know.

QUESTION: [indistinct] then moved into various NRL clubs, are those clubs part of your investigation and what’s being looked at?

DAVID SMITH: Look I think the point has been made in the report, when you get a chance to have a look through it. The inter-linkages from organised crime right through to the – being able to manipulate the athlete are quite complex. And I think as we go through the investigations, which have only just started, I think you will find that there are [indistinct] dependencies. And quite clearly we’ll be working with ASADA wherever those instances arise to make sure that we’re cooperating and investigating thoroughly. So I suspect that we will find that there are inter-linkages because that’s how these things work. And when we spot those we’ll work with ASADA and other codes to make sure that we do everything that’s necessary to eradicate them.

JASON CLARE: Just to elaborate on that. We’re seeing linkages here between organised crime and the compound pharmacies in Australia that can make these drugs. Involvement of organised crime with compliant doctors who are writing scripts, linkages between organised crime and anti-ageing clinics that are involved in providing these drugs to players. We’re also seeing organised crime involved in front companies that can be involved in this.

In some occasions, organised criminals that have linkages to companies that work with the major sporting codes. So this is very serious. And wherever you have organised crime targeting and infiltrating the codes and the players then the risks are enormous. And the approach and the response needs to be very serious.

QUESTION: [indistinct] situation is in rugby, and at what level it’s going on? Whether it’s test, Super 15, club?

BILL PULVER: Ok thank you ladies and gentlemen. Look from the perspective of the Australian Rugby Union I think we feel this report that has been released today is a very timely wakeup call for all professional sports in Australia. I think we were aware for some time of issues related to performance-enhancing drugs, but less aware of connections to organised crime and potential match-fixing.

In the case of the Australian Rugby Union, in April of 2010 we put in place an integrity office. We hired a fellow called Rich Thompson – Phil Thompson, excuse me, to head up that office. And he was a detective in the Federal Police force. And I can tell you quite openly that over the last two years of 2011 and 2012 that office has actually prosecuted four cases in relation to breaches of our anti-doping code. Three of those cases related to incidences of amateur players outside the metropolitan areas in possession of performance-enhancing drugs, and they were banned from the game for two years. And one of the – the other case involved again an amateur player outside the metropolitan area with possession and attempted distribution of performance-enhancing drugs. And that player was banned for four years.

Since they’re the only cases I’m aware of in relation to the Australian Rugby Union, my view is that our integrity office is doing a very good job. We have a very comprehensive programme of education and testing in place. In the case of the Australian Rugby Union at the professional level, we have one Qantas Wallabies team, five Super franchises, one men’s Sevens team and one women’s Sevens team. And our plans for our 2013 is 222 individual tests at that level, which I think is a reasonably comprehensive situation.

Having said that, and actually being quite proud of our record in relation to anti-doping policies, I think it would be naïve of the ARU and Australian rugby community to believe that this is not an issue that spans all professional sports. And so as a consequence from our perspective you are going to see complete cooperation with the Australian Crime Commission and ASADA into the putting initiatives in place to preserve the integrity of Australian sport.

QUESTION: So why is the testing regime across all the sports here so thorough we hear, so failed? It can’t be only because these are new drugs.

KATE LUNDY: Well perhaps I can help there. One of the issues is that the drugs are new and different. Some of the drugs…

QUESTION: Are you saying there’s no – that the drugs that are tested for don’t show up in this report? That your testing regime for current prohibited substances is 100 per cent foolproof?

KATE LUNDY: The testing regime is comprehensive and has been in place – in fact Australia leads in the area of the fight against doping in sport. The point being in this report that there are new substances out there in the market that A, can’t be tested for. B, are not known to the testing authorities because they’re so new and different, including substances that are not approved for human consumption. Some of those substances are on the WADA code, some of them aren’t. The point being that we have to be forever vigilant in moving to find out what is being used and how it’s being used, if we’re able to develop the tests in the regime and structure around it to catch those cheats.

One of the ways we do that is to increase the investigative powers of ASADA. And with the full cooperation of all of the codes and sports generally working with ASADA we’re able to do that more effectively. There’s no one solution to fixing this problem, there’s no single test that can stamp out drugs in sport. But it’s a combination of strategies that puts the authorities in the best possible position.

QUESTION: How many sportsmen and women, professional sportsmen and women in Australia are we actually talking about are now suspected of having used peptides or hormones or other forms of performance-enhancing drugs? Is it hundreds, is it thousands?

KATE LUNDY: Well ASADA’s probably in the best position to give you a picture on that. Remembering of course that there are legal constraints around the information in the ACC report, and there are confidentiality provisions that apply to ongoing investigations. But perhaps I could invite Aurora() and Druska() from ASADA to make some comments about how pervasive it has been to date.

QUESTION: Can I just ask the NRL and the AFL, is it possible that clubs could be suspended from competition this season because of what’s been going on?

ANDREW DEMETRIOU: Look I’ve already said and if you’re asking me about the [indistinct] investigation I can’t comment because it’s underway. But as I said they are all entitled to the benefit of the investigation and before we start hypothesising about what may or may not occur, we will let that investigation run. But everybody here is very clear about the rules that relate to doping. The rules that we all operate under under the WADA code are very clear. And we, like all the sports up here, understand fully, and our players have all been educated as have the officials on a regular basis, understand under what rules and what regime we all operate under.

BILL PULVER: What I would say – just reiterate, we’ve worked with the Crime Commission. We have information that suggests it’s a number of players and a number of clubs. That investigation has started. We will thoroughly continue with that investigation. We’ve added investigators. And I wouldn’t speculate as to exactly what that means in terms of whole of teams or other issues. But quite clearly this is a very serious issue. I think – I would reiterate without prejudging anybody, I think this is an opportunity for anybody who is caught up, inadvertently or otherwise perhaps, to step forward and talk about that.

Because what we know and history tells us, is actually you will get caught. So I think there’s a big investigation that we will work through with ASADA. We’re adding resources. We are totally committed. Tony Whitlam QC will come in and run that independently for me working though the issues, and we’ll get to the end.

QUESTION: [indistinct question]

UNIDENTIFIED: Our formal investigation has only just commenced recently. And under the legislation once we’re in that phase we’re not in a position to be able to talk in any detail. And it’s about protecting individuals’ privacy, particularly those people that are being investigated. So I can’t comment on the numbers and we are working with the sports already. And we will do a comprehensive investigation, and we’ll work through in the most timely manner that we can.

I’d like to just make a comment in relation to the questions about testing. I think that testing will always be a very important feature of the anti-doping programme. But I think what you can see from the report today, the importance of anti-doping and the future of anti-doping really is in the intelligence and investigation work. Australia is leading across the world in this area. It’s our relationships with law enforcement agencies and our relationship with the Australian Crime Commission that has led to this report. And it really has stepped up, I think, Australia’s capacity through our relationships to really get on top of what’s going on in Australia in terms of doping.

QUESTION: Can I ask David Gallop a question. David is football, or let’s call it soccer for the ears of today, implicated in this investigation the same way as the other codes, to what degree and also is there a comment about match-fixing in terms of that report suggests that young soccer players, maybe in the A-League, are already being sort of sponsored and schmoozed by organised crime?

DAVID GALLOP: There’s nothing specific in relation to football in relation to this report. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t join in the general concern about the issues that are raised in the report. We must maintain vigilance in education, in making sure that players are aware of penalties that can be imposed in surveillance. And you’d be aware that we’ve recently engaged an overseas agency to assist us with surveillance over football matches. It’s simple to make the point but it’s a good one. Where things are difficult to detect, the level of deterrence must be high. And that’s what we’re dealing with here, both in relation to the doping issues and match-fixing. We are vigilant about it. We have internal and external resources in place and we don’t specifically have evidence at this stage but we join the general concern. And we’re all too happy to be here supporting the Government and the ACC.

QUESTION: And in terms of match-fixing, is Football Australia implicated in this global investigation that we’ve just been hearing about this week?

DAVID GALLOP: No we’re not.

QUESTION: [indistinct] Australia has boasted for a very long time of a good reputation for clean sport. Back at the 2000 Olympics it was trumpeted as the clean games. We’ve seen since then there were examples of doping even at that Olympics. Doesn’t this prove that that reputation is completely ill-founded now?

KATE LUNDY: No I think what this report shows is that we are remaining on guard, and we are actively trying to stamp out this level of criminality. I think in the absence of this report, in the context of the revelations that have occurred globally in recent times, you could well make that charge. But with the presence of this report and what you’re seeing before you today, the level of cooperation between our agencies and the commitment of the leaders of major professional sports in this country, I think we are in the strongest possible position in the global fight against both match-fixing and doping in sport.

I’m really proud to be here today with this group of people. And to say to the people of Australia our job is to restore the integrity in sport. And I know there’s a great deal of interest around the world about our approach to match-fixing and stamping it out, and I’ve already been asked on several occasions to present at international fora about our match-fixing policies, because of the growing interest and challenge that that is presenting in sport around the world. So no we are, I think, ahead of the game. But – but we can never be complacent. There is nothing about this information today which says we can be complacent. We do need to move again. And with the cooperation and in partnership with the major sports, and indeed the Australian Sports Commission on behalf of the smaller sports in this country, we intend to stamp this out. That is our job and that’s what we are focussed on doing.

QUESTION: This question is for the Crime Commission. There’s a line in this report, it says multiple players in one code from a number of clubs are suspected of currently using or having previously used peptides which could constitute an anti-doping rule violation. Have you informed the head of that one code that their sport is the one that this line applies to?

JOHN LAWLER: The short answer is yes. We have identified two – the codes in confidential briefings in quite some level of detail beyond the public report. That’s been done as I’ve said in the context of new legislation that’s just allowed the Commission to do that. And the codes, as you’ve heard, will respond accordingly.

QUESTION: Is there a need now to crack down on the gambling aspects and the commercial relationships we’re seeing between some – and sponsorships between bookmakers, the advertising? Every game we see on TV now has live ads for odds, for things happening. Should that continue or is this part of what’s creating this atmosphere?

KATE LUNDY: There is ongoing work by this Government in the area of gambling and how it relates to sport through the Interactive Gambling Act and the work of Senator Conroy in that regard. But our match-fixing policy does go to these issues, and empowers sports through that policy to have a right of veto, if you like, over the type of markets that can be opened up on specific sports.

And in this way, sports are empowered within that match-fixing policy to work with not only the betting agencies but through the state regulators of betting to try and protect the integrity of sport. This match-fixing policy has been in place for some time. The members of the group of major professional sports have supported that match-fixing policy and continue to do so. And we are now awaiting the remainder of the states to legislate to make match-fixing a criminal offence to pull that all together. But this is an area that is part of this challenge and it’s something we’ve been addressing thoroughly for some time now.

QUESTION: [indistinct] Just to be very clear, are you aware if the match-fixing allegation relates to the NRL?

DAVID SMITH: Look I’ve had a confidential briefing from the Crime Commission as John said in some detail. So we have information. I think I’ve explained that information affects more than one club and more than one player, but I’m not prepared to go into – give you a specific answer. I think we need to get into the investigation, we need to work with ASADA, and we need to increase our investigation resources, and we need to come to a series of conclusions. And that’s what we’ll do.

QUESTION: Presumably ASADA’s investigation is going to take months and months. Now we’ve had a lot of information today but not a lot of details and you’re constrained in what you can say. I guess my question is, how can Australians have any faith in any sporting code this year? Be it NRL, AFL, football, rugby union, given that we’re not going to know anything in detail for months?

KATE LUNDY: Well they can have confidence in that we have very strong regimes already in place and that investigations are underway. It’s entirely appropriate to allow due process to unfold with these investigations, and for privacy and the other confidentiality imperatives of our law enforcement agencies to be respected.

QUESTION: I’m not questioning due process, but I mean how does any footy fan know that their club isn’t crooked this year?

KATE LUNDY: Well as I said I think the investigations need to unfold. What people can be confident about is that with this report now released into the public domain with the commitment of the codes working together with the Government, with ASADA and with law enforcement agencies, that we can get to the bottom of it. We have to start somewhere, and this is – as was said before, a line in the sand for Australian sport. Where we go next will be an improved environment where we have the appropriate structures in place to stamp this behaviour out.

QUESTION: Mr Lawler you’ve said that you’re restricted in what you can say about the example that’s gone before the authorities, particular example of match-fixing. But I’m wondering can you tell us how recently that was, and are we talking spot fixing, are we talking the results of a match, are we talking one particular match or a pattern, can you give us any kind of idea about that?

JOHN LAWLER: Unfortunately I can’t. We’ve been very careful in the context of the legislation in putting the public report together. It’s a 40 page report, a very comprehensive report, so we’ve tried to the fullest extent possible, to make whatever information we could available in the public domain. We’ve also been able to work with the codes and provide them additional information that we have, and we’ve of course worked closely with ASADA and the state and territory police, who have the full gamut of the information that we have before us. So unfortunately I’m not able to go into specifics about that particular allegation in this particular forum at this particular time.

QUESTION: There is a specific reference on page 32 under organised criminal infiltration of unregulated markets where you talk about the role of a sports scientist who benefited financially from the sale of peptides and hormones, advocated their use and directed their application at a number of sporting clubs though he was not medically qualified. Can you tell us any more about that? Is that something that’s been put before authorities, is someone facing prosecution, where is this incident, who is this person?

JOHN LAWLER: Yes the – some of the detail around that particular portion of the report has been alluded to to the codes, and detailed information provided to ASADA. But the point you raise goes to the very legal restriction that I raised with you at the beginning of the press conference, in that the Parliament has made it quite clear that the Commission should not disclose private information about persons that would affect their reputation or a fair trial. And the Commission takes that extraordinarily seriously, and as a result, whilst potentially frustrating for some in this room, it’s the law and it’s something I must and will abide by.

QUESTION: Are there proceedings being brought against this particular person, without going into who they are or?

JOHN LAWLER: There will be, as I’ve said, a range of proceedings. There are investigations underway, we’ve heard both within the codes, with ASADA and with the police. And I’m hopeful that ultimately due process will be followed, and if appropriate, criminal charges laid and people brought before the courts.

QUESTION: [indistinct] Did this investigation stem from the Ryan Tandy spot fixing allegations? And to Mr Sutherland, are you confident that there is no spot fixing or match-fixing, particularly in the T20 Big Bash?

JOHN LAWLER: The answer to your question is no it did not. The investigation came about, as I said, as a result of our ongoing work around monitoring high risk and emerging drugs, which is part of the Commission’s role, targeting the top end of serious and organised crime with our state and territory partners. But also very important to the ACC’s investigation was information provided by ASADA and the close work that we’ve undertaken with ASADA since the beginning of 2012. So we’ve been underway on this for over 12 months. And that information, the combined powers of the Commission and its own intelligence capacity, and partnering with ASADA who are the specialists in this area, has led us to where we are today.

JAMES SUTHERLAND: In answer to your question about the Big Bash leak, we’re as confident as we can be in that regard. We have our own integrity unit that has surveillance activities overall of the Big Bash league matches. That’s very technically and in a detailed sense networked through to the ICC, who has its own anti-corruption unit, and we work very closely with them, with information not just about the Australian betting market but the global market. So we’re as confident as we can be. Of course this report heightens our awareness of risk, and we will only be taking a step up in terms of the support around our integrity unit to protect the Big Bash and all other cricket matches played in Australia.

QUESTION: Do you have evidence at all of illicit drugs being used in cricket, or even some sort of match-fixing going on? Allegations?

JAMES SUTHERLAND: There’s no specific evidence that has been passed through to us. But as I said before all that does – all this report does for us is heighten our concerns about risk and gives us I guess a mandate, with all of the other sports, to take our own action independently but also collectively with other sports, the Government and other agencies.

QUESTION: Mr Sutherland I just wanted to clarify a comment you made at the start of the press conference. You said specifically the NRL and AFL have concerns of what’s arised from this report. Does that mean the problem is more prevalent in those two codes than other codes?

JAMES SUTHERLAND: I think it’s probably not a question for me to answer specifically. What I was alluding to there was that those two codes had advised us that there were issues for them specifically coming out of this report. It’s for them to comment on that any further but it was just to make that clear. And I guess as an extension of that, to make it clear that none of us as an individual sport say that we’re immune from this risk. We share that risk with the Australian sporting community and we’re determined to take action.

QUESTION: Minister, how long will these [indistinct] now know that one code in particular is suspected of having multiple players across multiple clubs being involved in drugs. How long until we know which code that is, the sport we’re watching?

JASON CLARE: What the Austalian people want to know is that the game they’re watching is real and that the players that they support aren’t on drugs to help their team win a game, and that their team’s not losing because other players are cheating and other players are working with criminals. And I can appreciate the frustration of yourself and the Australian public in wanting to know who it is and when I’m going to find out. But one thing that I won’t do, one thing I can’t do under the law, is provide information that would compromise a criminal investigation. The next step is to provide this intelligence to police across the country to conduct their own investigation and collect the necessary evidence to prosecute the cases in court.

This report is a snapshot of what’s happening in sport across the country. The Crime Commission, as I said, has conducted coercive hearings, they conducted about 30 coercive hearings. And that has identified multiple players that are taking prohibited substances, across a range of Australian sports. And I know that we’ve had to be careful about the sports that we have identified through the conduct of this investigation. But the point needs to be clearly made. No sport is immune. We’re talking about a number of sport, professional sports, that are played across Australia. We’ve got two choices here. You either take it seriously, you make sure that ASADA’s got the powers and the resources it needs to hunt these people down. You make sure that sporting codes have got the integrity systems and the investigators necessary to make sure that their sports are clean. And you work together with police and the Crime Commission to weed these people out. Or you put your head in the sand. And that is not the option in a case as serious as this.

KATE LUNDY: Can I also say that through the course of those investigations this is an opportunity to encourage anyone involved to step forward and make themselves known to both their code and ASADA. That is the opportunity that exists now and I would urge anyone who is involved in cheating or fixing to step forward, make themselves know, and be part of cleaning up sport in Australia, so these situations do not persist.