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Six Australian Rugby Teams Investigated for PED Use
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The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency (ASADA) is currently investigating six top-flight Australian rugby league clubs after a report surfaced about the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs in the sport.
The agency talked to Manly, Cronulla, Newcastle, Penrith, North Queensland and Canberra days after the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) released a report about widespread use of illegal substances in sports.
The report implicated two Australian Rules teams, including the Melbourne-based Essendon Bombers.
"Sports would be foolish to think that they didn't need to take the integrity of their sport seriously," said sports minister Kate Lundy.
"Australia loves sport and hates cheats, and these allegations offend a strong, ingrained sense of fair play. Australians like winning for sure, but not at all costs," she added.
Because of this, all Australian athletes and officials will be forced to sign a legal document regarding their anti-doping history before they can be eligible for next year's Winter Games in Sochi.
In the legal document, athletes, coaches and officials must declare that they have no history of doping, or that they have committed a doping violation and served a sanction.
Lundy said anyone who cannot answer yes to either options will be ineligible for selection in the Australia team.
Under Australian law, anyone who willfully makes a false statutory declaration could face up to five years in prison.
The report said scientists, coaches and support staff were all involved in the provision of drugs across multiple sporting codes, without naming any individuals.
National Rugby League chief executive David Smith said his office had been working with ASADA in its investigation for a number of weeks.
"I can't comment on the outcome on the information we have so far. What I can say is that they're serious matters," Smith said.
"I have said right from the outset that it involved multiple clubs and multiple players and as a sport we have taken this very seriously in the way we have approached this," he added.
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