Lack of detail in the Australian Crime Commission’s (ACC) report is an “extraordinary attack on Australian sport”, according to senior rugby league figure Phil Gould.
Penrith general manager Gould, whose NRL club is being investigated by the league’s independent auditors, was one of several sports identities to criticise the ACC on Friday for its broad-brush approach that tarnished all players.
Gould said it was unfair for the ACC to outline widespread doping in Australian professional sport and links to organised crime without providing more clarity.
“This report from the Crime Commission is full of words like maybe, could be, suspected and potential,” Gould told Channel 9.
“Nobody has been named, no club has been named and no sport has been named.
“It’s a broad-brush condemnation of Australian sport everywhere.
“At the moment, everyone is guilty and I’m not sure, even if they find pockets of illegality, how you repair the integrity of everyone else who is in fact innocent.”
NSW State of Origin coach Laurie Daley, in Brisbane for the NRL All-Stars game, said it was sad that every professional athlete had been “tarnished”.
“Until you know more detail, I’m like everyone else – I am left in the dark a little bit,” Daley said.
“You’d like to know what the charges are or where we actually sit in terms of what’s been revealed …until you really know, it’s all speculation.”
Injured Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins said the ACC’s report had yet to temper his belief that cricket was clean and hoped the public agreed.
“99 per cent of people woke up the same this morning – they’re not worried and, as far as I know, everyone in cricket is feeling exactly that,” the teenager said at the SCG ahead of the one-day international.
“Here at cricket, I’ve never seen anything that’s closely related to what they were talking about yesterday.”
Ex-president of AFL club Hawthorn Jeff Kennett said “you can’t just slam and slur everyone”, while former Sydney Swans coach Paul Roos believed the ACC should do more to improve the reputation of clean athletes and sports.
Roos said there was no need to name names in the investigation but there must be clarity on just how widespread the problem is.
“It’s made a blanket statement,” Roos told Fairfax Radio.
“I would have liked to have heard ‘look we have 35 examples across four codes. We’re not going to give any details of names clearly because we’re still investigating’.
“Obviously there must be some logic behind what they did but certainly it sort of throws everyone in the pot.”
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd also spoke out about the issue.
“The core challenge now is to establish the facts – which players, which clubs?” Rudd told the Seven Network.