7 February 2013


From AAP
A year-long government investigation has found widespread use of banned drugs in Australian professional sport and links with organised crime.
The Australian Crime Commission released the findings of a 12-month investigation into the integrity of Australian sport and the relationship between professional sporting bodies, prohibited substances and organised crime.
It said the links may have resulted in match-fixing and fraudulent manipulation of betting markets.
The key findings of the investigation identified widespread use of prohibited substances including peptides, hormones and illicit drugs in professional sport.
It said that in some cases players were being administered with substances that have not yet been approved for human use.
The ACC also identified organised crime identities and groups that are involved in the distribution of PIEDS (Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs), to athletes and professional sports stars.
The ACC report noted increasing evidence of personal relationships of concern between professional athletes and organised criminal identities and groups.
“The ACC has found that professional sport in Australia is highly vulnerable to infiltration by organised crime. Multiple athletes from a number of clubs in major Australian sporting codes are suspected of currently using or having used peptides,” Justice Minister Jason Clare said in a statement.
The report concluded that some coaches, sports scientists and support staff of elite athletes have orchestrated and/or condoned the use of prohibited substances.
Some sports scientists have indicated a willingness to administer substances to elite athletes which are untested or not yet approved for human use.
The ACC said illicit drug use by professional athletes was more prevalent than had been indicated by sports drugs testing programs.
The report found that organised crime had an expanding role in providing banned substances to athletes, and this was facilitated by some coaches and support staff.
The head of the AFL Players’ Association say it’s possible organised crime has infiltrated the AFL.
“You know organised crime have infiltrated gyms and provision of various kinds of supplements and substances which aid performance,” Players’ Association boss Matt Finnis said.
The ACC has referred its findings of suspected criminal activity to the Australian Federal Police and state police forces.
The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and other regulatory agencies will undertake more investigations on the basis of the findings.
Clare said one possible case of match-fixing was already under investigation, though he did not identify the sport.
“The findings are shocking and will disgust Australian sports fans,” Clare said.

5 February 2013


The debate about the 3rd tier of Rugby has been enlivened lately, as a result of the suggestion for using the Universities, as the providers. As usual, the Sydney boys only want to see teams from Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra. Hasnt' the penny dropped yet, after all these years?

In case some hadn't heard, Melbourne and Perth have Super Rugby teams etc. If you want Rugby to be truly strong, you need to have a state based competition and have one team per state, in every state.

Just like the Sheffield Shield - for the weak states, you allow exemptions to draft in as many players as needed. You let natural selection and attrition work for you. I am sure that the pool of available club players around Australia is sufficient to find good Tier 3 quality players, so that should not be a consideration.
You try to schedule it so that the best players are available, but if they aren't you pick your next best - that's how you develop people.

If you had one team from each of Qld, NSW, ACT, Vic, SA, Tas, WA and NT and they play a "home and away" situation, you have 16 weeks spread throughout the season. If you can get a fair bit of that out of the way before the Club season starts, so much the better, or you wait until the end of Super Rugby and play an 8 round comp. Out of say, 320 players in total, you will lose 30+ Wallabies. Personally, I would start with small steps and go for an 8 round comp spread over the season. Nothing wrong with playing mid-week games - Monday night and Friday night are great football nights and the TV networks like them. A bit of competition for NRL.

If the main universities then swing in behind this, and you base each franchise at one of them, we can start to use the horsepower of the University system, which I think is a great idea, and why didn't we think of it before? .. and then, logically, you can develop the academy system, through the university link. It doesn't necessarily mean that you have to run an Under 23 comp, but if you did, maybe you could grant each team overage exemptions, or something.  We just need to think outside the square.

Logistics will always be an issue, there will have to be salary caps, etc, but these are the factors that have always hindered us in the past and will continue to, unless we take bold steps.

The proposal will not find favour with the traditionalists in Sydney and Brisbane. So what. Time for bravery and logical thought.

2 February 2013

..The Other Trials

Reds get up with a cricket score.......read it here!

Izzy saves the day ...looks like it was a good investment after all ....read it here

The Brumbies Get Up in the Top End!

Photo borrowed from the Brumbies website

What a shame the media can't find it within itself to televise or even provide a live stream of a game like last night's trial. Best we could do was follow it on Twitter!

You can check out the full report on the Brumbies website, ..and to be fair, you can also check out the report from the Forces' website.

But in a nutshell - four seasons in one day - from sun to wind to rain..happily the boys got off to a good start in the sunny period with tries to Matty Toomua and Clyde Rathbone, and went into the half time break with a 20 - 10 lead.

All players were replaced in the second half, and the atrocious weather allowed the Force back into the game, but the Brumbies were able to hang on, despite a last minute long range penalty to the Force, but kicker Kyle Godwin, happily for us, sent the kick wide.

Final score 20 - 18 and no injuries.

Next game -v- the ACT XV at Vikings Park next Friday afternoon. Can't wait!

Brumbies 20 (Matt Toomua, Clyde Rathbone tries; Christian Lealiifano 2/2 conversions, 2/2 penalty goals; Zack Holmes 0/1 penalty goals) defeated Emirates Western Force 18 (Ben McCalman, Junior Rasolea tries; Sias Ebersohn 1/1 conversion, 1/1 penalty goals; Kyle Godwin 0/1 conversions, 1/2 penalty goals)