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.
Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare, Minister for Sport Senator Kate Lundy speak to the media during a joint press conference with sporting code representatives.
It said the links may have resulted in match-fixing and fraudulent manipulation of betting markets - and it was hopeful criminal charges would be laid.
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 were 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 findings are shocking and will disgust Australian sports fans,” he said.
“It’s cheating…but it’s worse than that. It’s cheating with the help of criminals.’
Mr Clare said one possible case of match-fixing was already under investigation, though he did not identify the sport.