Former Maroons Origin great says throw the book at the guilty
RUGBY league legend Greg Dowling is demanding anyone found guilty in the NRL’s betting scandal be thrown out of the game.
The former Australia international was appalled by news prominent player agent Sam Ayoub and ex-player John Elias were arrested and charged yesterday with attempting to obtain financial advantage by deception
It follows Ryan Tandy’s court appearance over his alleged involvement in a suspicious betting plunge on a Bulldogs-Cowboys game last year.
If found said there guilty, Dowling should be no second chances. ‘‘ They’ve got to throw the book at them, it’s as simple as that,’’ said Dowling, speaking from his Oporto restaurant in Townsville. ‘‘ The league will have to make a stance on it.’’
L a t e y e s t e r d a y i t d i d exactly that, with NRL chief e x e c u t i v e D a v i d G a l l o p d e c l a r i n g g u i l t y p a r t i e s would receive a life ban.
‘‘ Anyone who’s found to have been involved fixing a game or an element of a game is going to find themselves charged by the police and their place in the game I would say will disappear,’’ Gallop said. ‘‘ Life bans have got to be on the cards for that kind of thing.’’
D o w l i n g a t t e n d e d t h e round 24 game at Dairy Farmers Stadium on August 21 last year, and said he immediately smelled a rat as Tandy’s holding down of Grant Rovelli in a tackle in front of the posts went on inordinately long.
‘‘ It just went on and on and on, it was crazy,’’ Dowling said.
With betting so prominent in the modern game, Dowling said it was essential anyone involved in the NRL – including player agents – were banned, like players, from placing money on any aspect of the sport.
‘‘ They shouldn’t be allowed ( to bet),’’ the 11-time Queensland State of Origin representative said of player agents.
‘‘ They’re pretty close to all the players, they’ve got all the inside info on what’s going on, what all the players are doing and all that, more than what anyone else has and they have got a position of responsibility.’’
While accepting ‘‘ spot fixing’’ was unfortunately becoming a more and more regular occurrence in sport, Dowling struggled to comprehend how any player’s conscience could allow them to be involved.
‘‘ I’m miffed by all this. I’ve been asked over the years about all match fixing and I just say, ‘ you’re kidding aren’t you?’ You go out there and train your arse off, and to throw a game, you’re kidding,’’ he said.
‘‘ But the sad thing about it,