Gold Coast Titans’ Greg Bird, Dave Taylor, Kalifa Faifai Loa stood down, facing court over allegedly arranging to supply cocaine


I’m sick to death of sport and drugs. How greedy are the players (all 3 codes will be caught up in this for sure) Patting young starry eyes kids on the head, signing autographs whilst on their mobiles trying to score coke and it seems whilst they have cocaine habits.

It is disgusting and ruining sports, who can our kids look up to these days. they are falling like ten pins for gross acts, greedy acts, illegal acts the list goes on. treating women like shit, taking drugs, gambling, getting so drunk they perform all kinds of things…God help sport in Oz.

23/02/15

Representative stars Greg Bird and Dave Taylor are among five Gold Coast Titans players to have been stood down after being implicated in the drugs scandal currently engulfing the club.

Bird, Taylor and winger Kalifa Faifai Loa were stood down on Sunday after they and former Titan Joe Vickery were issued with notices to appear in court for allegedly arranging the supply of cocaine.

It comes two days after it was revealed on Friday that hooker Beau Falloon, Jamie Dowling and the Queensland Reds’ Karmichael Hunt would also face court as part of the same Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) investigation into drug trafficking.

The CCC released a statement confirming four men had been served with notices to appear in court on counts of supplying drugs, one of whom faces seven counts.

Titans chief executive Graham Annesley told reporters on Sunday the players would be forced to front the board and “explain why action should not be taken against them for reputational damage the club has incurred”.

“We expect that that will take a little bit of time because at the moment we have very little information to make that assessment,” Annesley said.

I apologise to everyone associated with the game [and] everyone that’s trying to take this game forward for these setbacks that are holding the game back.

Graham Annesley

“But over the coming days we hope we will have more information and the players will be able to appear before the board.”

Taylor, Bird and Faifai Loa will face court on March 9.

“I’ve run out of words to explain it,” Annesley said.

“Let’s not forget these players haven’t been found guilty of anything … [but] to be constantly dragged through these types of scandals is incredibly damaging to the club.”

The scandal comes two months after Bird was removed as co-captain after a public urination incident in Byron Bay.

Despite a number of controversies hitting the cash-strapped club in recent times, Annesley stressed he would not be abandoning the team.

“This is another bad day for the club, and it’s a bad day for the game,” he added.

“I apologise to everyone associated with the game [and] everyone that’s trying to take this game forward for these setbacks that are holding the game back.”

A CCC statement on Friday said Hunt, Falloon and Dowling, as well as an unidentified 22-year-old woman, would appear in Southport Magistrates Court on March 5.

The NRL’s Integrity Unit will help the Titans decide the fate of any players found guilty.

Titans coach, Neil Henry, says Falloon and Dowling will face further sanctions if they are found guilty in court.

“The Integrity Unit are across this as well. They have a big say in what happens in these situations and that’s fine,” Henry said after the Titans lost a trial game against the Cowboys in Cairns on Saturday night.

“We’ll have to be guided by what they recommend as well and that’s how it has been for every team.”

Still without a major sponsor for the 2015 season, the Titans no longer have a training base after leaving The Southport School as a result of the allegations against Falloon and Dowling.


Gold Coast Titans crisis: Five burning questions surrounding the club as the drug saga unfolds

NRL boss Dave Smith disappointed for the fans

NRL boss Dave Smith disappointed for the fans

CAN the Titans survive the cocaine crisis? Will the five players charged ever play again?

There are a series of key issues Graham Annesley will have to tackle as the drug saga involving five of the Gold Coast’s current players unfolds.

We look at five burning questions hovering over the Titans.

1. What are the futures for the five Titans players charged?

Even with the presumption of innocence in the courts, Titans CEO Graham Annesley has made it clear the five current players facing drug charges are in line for the sack.

Addressing the media on Sunday, Annesley said the club would be conducting “a separate contractual process” and would ask Greg Bird, Dave Taylor, Beau Falloon, Kalifa Faifai Loa and Jamie Dowling to meet with the board and “explain why action should not be taken against them for the reputational damage the club has incurred as a result of the players putting themselves in a position where they have been charged.”

Is Dave Taylor’s NRL career over?

Is Dave Taylor’s NRL career over? Source: News Corp Australia

Annesley made it clear that the Titans are still largely in the dark when it comes to the details of the investigation and how the five players charged fit within it, and as those details become clearer the club’s decision will become easier.

But if the players are indefinitely stood down or sacked they’ll have to rely on an acquittal in court to ever play in the NRL again.

TITANS FACE FOUR-YEAR DRUG BANS

BIRD, TAYLOR CHARGES ‘JUST TIP OF ICEBERG’

ANNESLEY WANTS TITANS TO REVEAL TRUTH

2. Do the Titans have a future?

Unequivocally, yes. If the NRL ever had an excuse to drop the Titans like a hot pie, this is it.

Commercially, the club’s never been a bigger basket case. Sponsors are thin on the ground, and in Bird one of the faces of the Titans has been caught up in an alleged cocaine ring.

Roll that in with below par on-field results and declining crowds over the past three seasons and you’ve got all the hallmarks of a club sliding into oblivion.

The good thing for the fans is the NRL is having none of it.

Dave Smith has used the opportunity over the past few days to give the NRL’s full backing to the Titans and ruled out relocation.

Dave Smith has been resolute in his support for the Titans.

Dave Smith has been resolute in his support for the Titans. Source: News Corp Australia

“The fans deserve a team on the Gold Coast and they will have a team on the Gold Coast,” Smith told Fox Sports News on Monday.

Titans co-owner Darryl Kelly has also reaffirmed his commitment to the club and while his millions are invested, he’s not going to allow the club to fall over.

3. Does the NRL have a drug problem?

Gary Belcher on Gold Coast Titans scandal

Yes and no. The Courier-Mail’s chief sports writer Robert Craddock used the drug charges levelled at the five Titans players to launch into a fascinating opinion piece on why NRL players and other elite sportspeople choose party drugs over booze.

CRADDOCK: WHY PLAYERS CHOOSE DRUGS OVER BOOZE

In it, he quoted a senior Brisbane football coach who Craddock had spoken to years before: “If you were a player why wouldn’t you take them? Unlike beer, you don’t put on weight and fail a pinch test. They are not that expensive.

“They get out of your system quickly. You don’t get a hangover. You don’t get photographed at a venue with a beer in your hand.

“You don’t get drug-tested very often and when you do you get three strikes before you are in big trouble. Whoever gets three strikes?’’

Five current Gold Coast Titans charged

Five current Gold Coast Titans charged

The three strikes policy the unnamed coach was referring to is only applied in the AFL, but as Craddock also points out, NRL Immortal Andrew Johns has admitted to being a serial ecstasy user for 12 years yet he never failed any of his 17 NRL drug tests.

So, in short, yes, the NRL and other codes in Australia most likely do have a drug problem but as NRL boss Dave Smith has pointed out, it’s also a societal problem.

“I don’t think this is specifically to do with sport, I don’t think this is specifically to do with rugby league, I think it’s a cultural, society-wide thing and frankly it turns my stomach.”

 

4. Is the DCE deal dead in the water?

Daly Cherry-Evans seems less likely to go to the Titans after recent events.

Daly Cherry-Evans seems less likely to go to the Titans after recent events. Source: News Corp Australia

It’s probably too early to call it dead but at best this deal is on life support.

One of the strongest components of the Titans’ pitch to Daly Cherry-Evans was the club’s culture and how the star halfback could contribute to it as a leader.

While the Titans have had a good track record for dealing with players who had lost their way in life or been sacked by other clubs, this scandal clearly erodes a lot if not all of that good work.

Cherry-Evans will now be looking at the Titans as a club with a battered reputation and with some massive question marks over the playing roster, with two of their top five players unlikely to play again, at least in the foreseeable future.

A premiership tilt frankly looks five years away, if you want to be a giddy optimist.

On the flip side, Annesley has an opportunity to convince DCE of the benefits of a wide-scale clean-out and the potential to build a team around the star halfback.

But to get the in-demand playmaker over the line, Annesley is now in a position where he will likely have to add some numbers to an already massive deal.

5. Has anyone enhanced their reputation?

It’s been a trying few days for Graham Annesley but he’s conducted himself with distincti

It’s been a trying few days for Graham Annesley but he’s conducted himself with distinction. Source: CourierMail

It’s pretty easy to point out whose reputation has been battered by this whole messy saga, but it also needs to be pointed out that at least two people who have had theirs enhanced.

The first is Annesley. Already a highly rated administrator, Annesley’s honest, forthright and sometimes emotional approach to this situation must be commended.

While many others would be ducking the media, he’s been at the coalface taking the heat and providing everyone with the proper assurances that the fans and the club would come first and the issues that needed to be dealt with would be done so in a professional manner.

Neil Henry, while not quite as visible, has been a tower of strength for his staff and his players and has enhanced his reputation as a leader of men who is prepared to do whatever it takes to get the best out of a bad situation.

Graham Annesley: Hard for the Titans to recover

Graham Annesley: Hard for the Titans to recover

Karmichael Hunt stood down for Queensland Reds’s next game over allegedly arranging supply of cocaine

Updated Fri at 6:48pm

Karmichael Hunt arrives at his home yesterday after the cocaine claims exploded.

Karmichael Hunt arrives at his home yesterday after the cocaine claims exploded.

Queensland Reds star recruit Karmichael Hunt has been stood down after being identified allegedly arranging the supply of cocaine.

The Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) released a statement on Friday morning saying on Thursday a 28-year-old man from Hendra was served with a Notice to Appear in Court to face four counts of supplying a dangerous drug.

Hunt made his Super Rugby debut against the Brumbies in Canberra last Friday and was named to start at full-back for the Reds against the Western Force at Lang Park on Saturday evening.

But according to a Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) statement: “It has been determined by the QRU, ARU (Australian Rugby Union) and the Rugby Union Players’ Association and after discussion with Karmichael that it would be best for his welfare that he is not available for selection this weekend.”

The statement also said the period in question was between September 1 and October 3 last year and that Hunt had not been arrested or charged.

The CCC will allege Hunt is among three men and one woman who arranged for the supply of cocaine for personal use or to on-supply to friends and colleagues.

A 24-year-old man from Burleigh Waters, a 27-year-old man from Mermaid Waters and a 22-year-old woman from Mermaid Waters were identified along with Hunt contacting the syndicate and allegedly arranging for the supply of cocaine.

NRL club the Gold Coast Titans later on Friday stood down Beau Falloon, 27, and Jamie Dowling, 24, pending court appearances for drug offences, set for the Southport Magistrates Court on March 5.

The CCC said it was unable to comment further due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

The CCC’s investigation focused on a cocaine trafficking syndicate operating in south-east Queensland, which resulted in charges being laid against former Queensland rugby league player Jason Smith.

Smith and Toowoomba restaurateur Jason Wood have been accused of trafficking 280 grams of cocaine, also between June and December last year.

Another former NRL player, Matt Seers, also faces 15 counts of supplying a dangerous drug and one count of trafficking a dangerous drug after being arrested in January as part of a joint investigation between Queensland police, New South Wales police and the CCC.

The Reds cancelled a scheduled media conference involving captain James Slipper this morning but released a joint statement with the ARU outlining they are both making inquiries into the reports about Hunt.

Hunt part of Reds’ leadership group

Hunt was named among the Reds leadership group in January, having been appointed vice-captain only months after joining the squad.

“I’ve considered myself a leader from a young age,” Hunt said last month.

“I have been around great leaders since I was a 17-year-old at the Broncos with (Shane) Webcke, (Gorden) Tallis, (Darren) Lockyer.

“I’ve been a part of the Origin and Test sides, I’ve played alongside some great leaders and obviously my own leadership skills have developed over the years.

“So there’s plenty of experiences I’ve been through and I’ve seen that can help the group and help the younger brigade coming through.”

Hunt made his debut in the NRL with the Brisbane Broncos as a 17-year-old in 2004 and represented Queensland at State of Origin level on 10 occasions before announcing a shock switch to the AFL and the Gold Coast Suns in 2009.

With the Suns entering the national competition in 2011, Hunt played a short stint with French Top 14 rugby union club Biarritz, for whom he appeared in the 2009/10 Heineken Cup Final.

The Suns released a statement on Friday morning.

“The Gold Coast Suns have been made aware of charges laid against Karmichael Hunt through the media reports this morning,” the AFL club said.

“As this matter is now before the court, it would be inappropriate to make any comment.”

After three years in the AFL, Hunt returned to rugby union for what was supposed to be a more long-term commitment prior to the 2015 season.

Todd Carney is a disgusting PIG ban him for life-photo


3 MILLION DOWN THE DRAIN TODD…

(It is all over the net now, after the main media played it down for the NRL no doubt, so the original image I posted on weekend way down the thread is mainstream. I like this one I made better now!)

3MLLIONDOWNTHEDRAIN

The NRL is investigating a disturbing photo which  threatens the career of Cronulla star Todd Carney after it was published online on Saturday night

Like those engaging in disgusting acts before him  in Rugby league, they are not needed in the game. Idiots like Carney are NOT bigger than the game and he needs to go. His so-called career is peppered with idiotic behaviour, and can no longer be put down to youth or the booze.

It is a sick act, taken and shared by a sick friend of his (unless he was SO WASTED Joe Blow took the picture without Carney even knowing, great night out Todd wasn’t it.

Is this who we want our boys looking up to? NO bloody way!

Hey folks here is a comment from his manager/agent  David Riolo

picture of player urinating in his mouth should not have been a sackable offence by Cronulla Sharks

really.pngReally, what, we should make a calendar of all the players and ecelebrate this?…What a stupid statement….Of course he is PISSED he will no longer get a cut of the 3 million dollar contract his client just lost…

UPDATE 4.25pm

Cronulla Board members decided this afternoon to terminate his $650,000-a-year contract effective immediately, despite having three years remaining

UPDATE TONIGHT 5.50PM

See following a statement issued by CEO Steve Noyce on behalf of the Cronulla Sharks

The Cronulla Sharks Football Club has today after careful consideration and lengthy deliberation, including discussions with senior NRL management, made a decision to terminate Todd Carney’s NRL playing contract effective immediately.

At the Sharks we are committed to building a successful club, a club with strong values and a club which sets and respects high standards in all aspects of its operations and activities.

When Todd was first signed to the Sharks he was made well aware of his responsibilities both on and off the field, to himself, the club and to the game in general, however the photograph that appeared last night on social media does not meet the values and standards the club is looking to uphold and take into the future.

As with any difficult decision, whilst you can’t change the past, it is important to put measures in place that can deliver positive outcomes both in the present and into the future.

The club and the NRL will be committed to working with Todd, his family and his management in implementing appropriate counseling and support, with the start of this process to begin tonight. 

Cronulla’s Todd Carney in trouble again after picture on social media appears to show him engaging in unsavoury act

The lewd picture has surfaced just one day after Carney starred in Cronulla’s epic comeba

The lewd picture has surfaced just one day after Carney starred in Cronulla’s epic comeback against Brisbane on Friday night. Source: News Corp Australia

Cronulla five-eighth Todd Carney’s future in the NRL is again under threat following the appearance of a disturbing image on social media.

The image published on Twitter on Saturday night shows Carney standing at a urinal and he appears to be engaged in an unsavoury act.

It is the latest incident in Carney’s colourful career which has been marred by alcohol-related issues.

The 28-year-old NSW representative and 2010 Dally M medallist was banned from playing in the NRL in 2009 due to repeated alcohol-related incidents when he was at Canberra.

Carney joined Cronulla in 2012 after being sacked by the Sydney Roosters for breaking a club-issued alcohol ban in 2011.

He linked with the Roosters following a year playing rugby league in regional Queensland.

This latest incident comes after Carney starred for the battling Sharks in their thrilling 24-22 comeback win over Brisbane on Friday night.

TODD Carney is facing the fight of his career after a shocking lewd picture of the NRL player went viral on social media overnight.

The image, which is yet to be authenticated, allegedly shows Carney in the toilets of Sutherland shire nightclub Northies urinating into his own mouth, an act also known as ‘bubbling’.

His club has issued a stern ‘please explain’ warning, and according to the Daily Telegraph the 28-year-old now faces the sack over the shocking picture.

While Todd Carney is yet to officially comment on the photo, the subject got a fiery response on Sunday Triple M, with co-host Paul Kent blasting Carney as “a p***ed idiot at the trough acting like a goose.”

Also known as ‘gargoyling’, bubbling is an internet craze that is particularly prevalent within the skating community.

One skater, Troy West, told Vice that it’s part of an Aussie skater’s everyday life, and was something that was even passed down to him from his father.

The craze is apparently starting to pick up in Europe too, with West claiming he was ‘bubbling’ in both Austria and Italy with other skaters while touring.

“Why?” you might ask.

“To provoke reactions from laymen,” of course.

It wouldn’t be the first time Todd Carney has landed in hot water for his off-field indiscretions.

In 2009 he was banned from playing in the NRL after repeated alcohol-related incidents while playing for Canberra.

He spent the season playing with the Atherton Roosters in the Cairns competition before joining the Roosters the following year.

After two seasons with the Tricolours, Carney was released from the final year of his contract after he broke a team-imposed alcohol ban.

That same year, Carney was caught up in another scandal after nude pictures of him were found of a second-hand phone in Canberra.

Louise Hallam was shocked after finding the pictures of the footballer stored on the phone.

Carney admitted he had used a device to take explicit pictures of himself in front of the bathroom mirror and had forwarded the photos to a girl he met on Facebook months after she exchanged a lewd photograph of herself.

Originally published as What on Earth was Todd Carney thinking?

The pic is included way down the page, and consider yourself warned you will be shocked

He is standing at the mens urinal weeing a stream of urine up into his mouth/face.

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Todd Carney the PISS HEAD

Todd Carney the PISS HEAD

Disgraced star Todd Carney has flushed away his NRL career after Sharks terminate his contract

CRONULLA Sharks star Todd Carney’s agent claims the disgraced NRL player did not drink his own urine in a picture that ultimately ended his career.

“It’s a setup, like when people stand in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa,” Carney’s agent David Riolo told 2UE this morning.

“Todd’s paid a very, very heavy price for a photo that he didn’t want out there or upload himself. It was supposed to be kept between mates.

“The person who took the photo contacted me this morning by text and said, ‘My phone got lost’ – supposedly – and that’s how the photo got out. It was meant to be a joke.

“He’s now got a photo of himself gone worldwide in not a very pleasant setting that’s going to be on the net for his family and everyone to see for future generations. That in itself is a very big price to pay.”

The claims come as the Sharks this morning cancelled their planned training session.

Carney had two warnings about poor behaviour this year before the embattled club sacked him over a social media photo scandal.

A vulgar picture of Carney urinating in his own mouth at a Cronulla nightspot went viral over the weekend — forcing Sharks directors to tear up his $3 million contract in a phone hook-up on Sunday.

The photo was taken two Saturdays ago in the men’s toilets at Northies after the team’s thrashing by Manly. The photo will not be printed because of its lewd nature.

VIDEO: VIRAL PIC MEANS CARNEY HAD TO GO

COMMENT: THE SHARKS HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO SACK CARNEY

MONDAY BUZZ: BLOG WITH PHIL ROTHFIELD ALL DAY MONDAY

TIMELINE: STRIFE AND TIMES OF TODD CARNEY

It has emerged the wayward five-eighth had been hauled before club management twice this year over drink-related behaviour incidents. In one case he had been with another man who was charged with assaulting two teenagers in Cronulla mall.

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Cronulla Sharks CEO Steve Noyce says Todd Carney’s behvaiour was not up to the high standards set by the club.

A senior club official confirmed the Sharks had tried so hard to sign former Tigers superstar Benji Marshall because Carney was unlikely to see out his contract.

It was the second time Cronulla boss Steve Noyce, the former Roosters chief executive, has had to sack Carney.

The Daily Telegraph understands club chairman Damian Keogh consulted Blues State of Origin skipper Paul Gallen and coaching staff.

NRL 360 host Paul Kent weighs in on Todd Carney’s sacking, stating the fallen star may have no other option than playing overseas.

We’re trying to improve the club commercially and the culture is very important,” Mr Keogh said.

“We’ve made a decision to only sign players in future who can contribute to that.

“Unfortunately Toddy can be a really lovely young bloke but he has well-documented issues with alcohol that have led to a number of problems.”

On Sunday evening the Sharks released a statement saying Carney did not meet “the values and standards the club is looking to uphold and take into the future.”

The club has promised to implement appropriate counselling and support to Carney and his family.

Jim Doyle, the head of the NRL integrity unit, supported the Sharks’ decision to dump the troubled Carney and said that he had tarnished the image of the game.

“The overwhelming majority of NRL players are great role models who do such good work on and off the field,” Doyle said.

“But those who want to bring the game into disrepute are on notice that their behaviour will not be tolerated and the Sharks should be commended for taking such a strong stand in this instance.”

Carney still had three years left to run on his $650,000-a-year contract meaning he is almost $2 million out of pocket.

The shocking image of Carney at the urinal in the toilets at local Cronulla nightclub Northies emerged on social media on Saturday night and went viral with Todd Carney trending on Twitter.

Todd Carney was one of the stars in the Sharks win over the Broncos.

Todd Carney was one of the stars in the Sharks win over the Broncos. Source: Getty Images

THE CROWD: FOX SPORTS NRL commentator Warren Smith says if the Sharks had not sacked Carney they may as well have shut up shop.

Even Carney’s biggest supporter, suspended coach Shane Flanagan, refused to stand by the troubled five-eighth this time.

Todd Carney spent a year in Atherton after being banned by the NRL.

Todd Carney spent a year in Atherton after being banned by the NRL. Source: News Limited

Rugby league immortal Andrew Johns told Channel Nine’s Sunday Footy Show that Carney should not be sacked over the latest incident.

“Surely they couldn’t sack him for that,” Johns said.

“It’s silly … it’s stupid (but) he is only doing it to himself.”

Todd Carney in training with the Kangaroos.

Todd Carney in training with the Kangaroos. Source: News Limited

The Sharks had only just found some on-field joy, coming back from a club-record 22-point deficit to defeat the Broncos 24-22 in Brisbane on Friday night.

The Sharks had gone the previous three games without scoring a point and Carney was awarded three Dally M points as best on ground.

This is the latest incident to impact Carney’s career.

The 2010 Dally M medallist was banned from playing in the NRL in 2009 after repeated alcohol-related incidents while playing for Canberra.

Cronulla's Todd Carney scores a try.

Cronulla’s Todd Carney scores a try. Source: News Limited

That year he played with the Atherton Roosters in the Cairns competition before joining the Roosters in 2010.

After two seasons with the Tricolours, Carney was released from the final year of his contract after he broke a team-imposed alcohol ban.

Carney joined the Sharks in 2012 — the same year he made his State of Origin debut for New South Wales.

Todd Carney

Age: 28

Rep honours: 1 Test for Australia (2010), 3 games for NSW (2012)

  • - Makes NRL debut for Canberra Raiders in 2004 where he spent five seasons before having his contract torn up and was de-registered by the NRL after repeated offences involving alcohol.
  • - Spent the 2009 season playing with the Atherton Roosters in the Cairns competition before joining the Roosters the following year.
  • - In 2010 won the Dally M Medal for Player of the Year and led the Roosters to a grand final appearance against St George Illawarra.
  • - Roosters release Carney from the final year of his contract in 2011 following a string of alcohol related incidents which included a drink-driving charge and breaking a team imposed drinking ban.
  • - Joined the Sharks in 2012, the same year he made his State of Origin debut for New South Wales.
  • - In late 2013 agreed to a five-year deal that would keep him at Cronulla until the end of the 2018 season.

Ryan Tandy: Disgraced NRL footballer’s gambling led to his career, life unravelling and eventual suicide


Ryan Tandy: Disgraced NRL footballer’s gambling led to his career, life unravelling and eventual suicide

Updated Fri 9 May 2014

My previous posts on this sad saga over the years can be found here

http://aussiecriminals.com.au/2010/08/30/canterbury-forward-ryan-tandy-punting-scandal/

http://aussiecriminals.com.au/2010/09/22/ryan-tandy-betting-scam-deepens-ex-star-on-cctv-putting-on-big-wad-of-cash/

http://aussiecriminals.com.au/2011/03/03/match-fixing-scandal-tandy-charged-sam-ayoub-and-john-elias-arrested/

http://aussiecriminals.com.au/2010/12/02/nrl-betting-video-is-half-back-brad-murray/

http://aussiecriminals.com.au/2011/03/04/police-releasing-more-cctv-footage-on-betting-scandal/

http://aussiecriminals.com.au/2011/10/06/ex-bulldogs-star-ryan-tandy-found-guilty-of-nrl-match-fixing/

Related Story: Tandy’s problems caught up with him: Turner
Related Story: Ryan Tandy dies of drug overdose
Related Story: Former NRL player Ryan Tandy granted bail over ‘standover’ accusations
Earlier this week, friends and family farewelled former rugby league player, Ryan Tandy, at a funeral on the New South Wales central coast
Former NRL player Ryan Tandy was found dead last month of an apparent drug overdose

Former NRL player Ryan Tandy was found dead last month of an apparent drug overdose

Mourners there remembered him as a talented athlete, a loving son and a valued friend.

Among them was sports psychologist Rob Brown.

“The real Ryan is somebody who will be, by those who knew him, cherished and will be missed for the rest of their lives,” he said.

But there was another, darker side to Tandy.

There have long been blurry connections between sporting stars and elements of the underworld, and the story of Tandy’s demise stands as a cautionary tale of just how easy it is to slide into that grey area.

“A lot of athletes are trained to push through their limits and not to think of the cost because the rewards are so great,” Mr Brown points out.

“So when they are no longer athletes, when they don’t have those supports there, when there is no coach or mentor, when it comes down to themselves and their own decision making, sometimes that’s flawed and sometimes that leads them into trouble.”

Tandy’s rugby league career peaked when he played with Melbourne Storm in their premiership winning side of 2009. On the surface his future appeared bright.

But unknown to most, Tandy had a long-standing gambling habit which would be the catalyst for a life that spiralled out of control.

It developed not long after his father died, when Tandy was 14.

“It’s been a pattern for his whole life, even going back as far as the early 2000s when he played for the (St George) Dragons,” says Tandy’s friend and sports journalist at Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, Josh Massoud.

“He had to go to the extent of the CEO to look after his rent, look after his groceries, and then pay him what was left, just to make sure that he had those needs met.”

Mounting gambling debts leads to threats

By 2010 the problem had become even more serious.

He bet on his first match with his new club, the Canterbury Bulldogs, despite NRL rules banning players from gambling on the sport, and had racked up gambling debts of tens of thousands of dollars.

“Even former flatmates had no idea about this side of his life. It obviously did get to a point at that stage in his life where he was, I think the court heard, that he was about $70,000 in the hole at the Bulldogs,” Massoud says.

Tandy was placing bets on racing and NRL games with jockey manager and former journalist, John Schell.

Mr Schell’s betting ledger shows Tandy’s rollercoaster punting spree over a week in June 2010, the same month he joined the Bulldogs.

It reveals a string of losses which left him owing Mr Schell more than $30,000. When Tandy refused to pay Mr Schell started to chase Tandy’s manager Sam Ayoub.

According to evidence Mr Schell later gave at Tandy’s trial, he texted Mr Ayoub, warning he would reveal Tandy’s gambling activities to Bulldogs management if Tandy did not pay up.

By Mr Schell’s court account, the tensions over Tandy’s gambling debt came to a head one night in July 2010.

Mr Schell had gone to the Moorebank Hotel to watch a Danny Green title fight, where he was approached by a man known to him and Tandy, who delivered this warning: “You’d want to drop off chasing Tandy for that money. He is tied up with people that you don’t want to know. You don’t want these types of blokes turning up at your front door.”

Frightened, Mr Schell texted Tandy to say the debt was forgiven. Tandy replied: “Sounds good because I didn’t want things to get ugly.”

A few weeks later Mr Schell decided to alert the Bulldogs, according to Mr Schell’s evidence.

He arranged to meet Bulldogs football manager Alan Thompson and the club’s then CEO Todd Greenberg (now the NRL’s deputy chief executive) at a cafe in Homebush, where he says he showed them Tandy’s betting ledger and the series of losing bets that had been placed on races and rugby league matches.

Despite the evidence, nothing was officially done and Mr Schell says the pair simply told him to take up the issue with Mr Ayoub.

Mr Greenberg and Mr Thompson declined an interview. Through a spokesman, Mr Greenberg denied being told about Tandy’s NRL betting plunge.

Betting plunge leads to investigation, conviction

Four days after the meeting at the cafe, the Bulldogs played the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville – the game that would bring Tandy’s league career to dramatic end.

Off the field, bets had poured in on a so-called exotic bet, that the Cowboys would score first with a penalty goal.

In the opening minutes, Tandy set the scene for punters to take home more than $100,000. He deliberately held down a player in a tackle and gave away a penalty to the Cowboys directly in front of the goal.

But the plan went awry. Instead of taking a quick kick, the Cowboys played the ball and scored a try.

A week later, the NRL announced an investigation into the penalty and the betting plunge, and in February 2011, NSW police charged Tandy, Mr Ayoub, notorious former footballer, John Elias, and a number of others over the alleged fix.

Hassan Saleh, a friend and former teammate of Tandy’s at St George, was one of those who bet on the match. He says Tandy was confident he would be cleared.

“He honestly thought that it was going to go away, he would keep playing footy. And then six months later, police, we were living together at the time, police rocked up at our house, took mobile phones, took everything and then he sort of got the point,” Mr Saleh said.

In October 2011, Tandy was convicted of dishonestly attempting to obtain a financial advantage for Ayoub, Elias and others.

The case against Mr Ayoub hinged on the evidence of another former player, Brad Murray, who was captured on video betting on the game.

Murray gave evidence in the Tandy case that Mr Ayoub had told him the fix was on but later changed his account and said he had lied in his original statement.

Tandy was the only person convicted and the NRL also banned him for life. Charges against Mr Ayoub and the others were dropped and Mr Ayoub was awarded costs.

“He was pretty much outcast from the game for life before he was even found guilty in front of a court,” Massoud said.

“And I think when that happens, and when somebody doesn’t have any hope left, their options are shut off and they can spiral out of control.”

Tandy implicated in drug-related kidnapping

In January this year Tandy’s life hit an all-time low when he was accused of a drug-related kidnapping.

According to a police brief of evidence, it happened near midnight at the Mingara recreation club on the NSW central coast.

A man involved in a dispute over drugs and money was walking to his car when he was bailed up by three men. One of them was Tandy.

They took the man and drove him around all night, demanding he hand over the drugs and cash.

Police later claimed Tandy’s role was that of standover man. There were also rumours an outlaw motorcycle gang was involved.

They were going to smash my legs. I’ve heard them talking about other bashings and I know who they’ve got backing them

Victim’s police statement

 

The next morning, police allege, Tandy drove the kidnapped man to a Commonwealth bank in Gosford, where he withdrew $4,500 and handed it over to Tandy, who waited outside.

The victim later told police he thought about running, but feared the men.

“They were going to smash my legs. I’ve heard them talking about other bashings and I know who they’ve got backing them,” the victim’s police statement says.

Tandy was arrested later that day.

“I found out, like everyone else did, when it hit the headlines and I was surprised,” Massoud said.

Late last month, before he had faced court on charges of kidnapping, Tandy was found dead from an apparent drug overdose, believed to be prescription medication.

Ex-Bulldogs star Ryan Tandy found guilty of NRL match-fixing


Ryan Tandy found guilty of trying to fix 2010 match between Canterbury Bulldogs and North Queensland Cowboys.

Well the time has finally come to make this bloke accountable for trying to cheat the game and the fans, all because he is a greedy gambling addict.Shame on those close to him, like his professional manager who got in on the act himself too.But we will hear more on that after today.He is awaiting sentencing this afternoon as I type this….lets hope he gets a sentence as a punishment and a DETERRENT to others thinking about doing the same…

UPDATE 12.02 06/10/11 How is this for a joke! Ryan Tandy convicted, fined $4000 and placed on a 12 month good behaviour bond. And his lawyers will be appealing that.Should consider himself a lucky bastard

FORMER Bulldogs forward Ryan Tandy has been found guilty of match-fixing in an NRL betting scam.

Sports Cheat Tandy will be sentenced later today

Magistrate Janet Wahlquist today said it was clear there was a plan to manipulate the first scoring of the game in August 2010 between the Bulldogs and the North Queensland Cowboys.

The plan had to include at least one player to make the bet come off, and the only rational hypothesis was that Tandy’s role was to do all that he could to make sure the Cowboys scored the first penalty goal, Ms Wahlquist said.

“He is the only player the evidence points to,” she said.

Tandy, 30, had pleaded not guilty to manipulating the first scoring point of the match to dishonestly obtain a financial advantage for “Sam Ayoub, John Elias and others, to win $113,245 from Tabcorp“.

The charge relates to an “unusual” betting plunge on the round 24 match, specifically to bets that the first points would be scored from a Cowboys penalty goal.

Tandy was penalised two minutes into the game for impeding a Cowboys player in front of the posts, after Tandy spilled the ball and gave away possession.

The magistrate is hearing sentencing submissions.

IT took Ryan Tandy less than a week to accrue gambling debts of $30,000 which he later said he would not repay because he “disputed” some bets made on his behalf, a court heard yesterday.

The former Bulldogs forward is facing Downing Centre Local Court on four charges of lying to the NSW Crime Commission during a police investigation into suspicious betting activity on a match last NRL season between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Bulldogs.

The 28-year-old has pleaded not guilty to those charges, as well as to one count of attempting to dishonestly obtain a financial advantage by deception.

The court heard former racing journalist John Schell organised for another man, Damien Flower, to place bets on Tandy’s behalf in June and July last year.

Schell told the court that Tandy, at that stage playing for the Melbourne Storm, had said he didn’t want bets made in his own name in light of the salary cap scandal, which had been exposed just weeks earlier.

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The court heard that Tandy asked for three bets of $5000 to be placed on horses to win at Flemington and Sydney – only for them all to place second.

Snell said he became concerned when Tandy’s debts grew to more than $30,000 and the NRL player started to “dispute” some of the bets he’d made.

But Snell said Tandy contacted him that June weekend and during the following week about placing bets on NRL matches.

Tandy was investigated after a flurry of bets was placed on the 2010 round 24 NRL match between the Bulldogs and the Cowboys in the unusual option of North Queensland scoring first from a penalty goal.

Tandy conceded a penalty in the opening moments of the game. However, North Queensland opted to take a quick tap in front of the posts and scored a try instead.

Match Fixing Scandal – Tandy Charged, Sam Ayoub and John Elias arrested


FORMER first grade footballer John Elias and player agent Sam Ayoub were today arrested as the NRL betting scandal deepened.

They are finally rounding up these cheating greeding players. Bad enough to try and cheat in a high profile sport, and then be caught out and still lie, come on boys, man up and admit you stuffed up, you all look ridiculous.Tandy has to be banned for LIFE from any sport forever, and the other cronies involved should get time in jail…But there is MORE TO COME

No support: the Bulldogs will not provide Ryan Tandy with any support for his legal bills

The arrests came as police laid a further three charges against Bulldogs player Ryan Tandy when he appeared in court today.

Elias, 48, of Punchbowl was arrested at 9.45am by police attached to a special taskforce set up to investigate the alleged betting scam.

Sam Ayoub, 49, Tandy’s manager,  was also arrested when he presented himself at Campise police station. Ayoub’s business offices in Leichhardt were also raided. Both men are expected to be charged later today and appear in court. The arrests are part of an ongoing investigation into an alleged illegal betting activity surrounding the Round 24 NRL match between the Bulldogs and the Cowboys last year.

Tandy, 23, faced court today charged giving false and misleading information to a law enforcement agency. He denied lying to the NSW Crime Commission regarding his involvement in an alleged betting scandal. He was arrested last month following a probe by the racing and casino investigation unit.

The 29-year pleaded not guilty in Sydney’s Downing Centre to four counts of providing misleading evidence to the Crime Commission. Police today laid an additional three charges against Tandy in relation to three separate incidents relating to giving false/misleading evidence at a NSW Crime Commission hearing.

Tandy appeared today charged with giving evidence that was false or misleading at two Crime Commission hearings. The other charges served on the 29-year-old forward at Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court this morning included fresh allegations relating to an earlier game between the Gold Coast Titans and Tandy’s Bulldogs in June 2010, two months before the now infamous Townsville match. Tandy’s solicitor Danny Eid entered pleas of not guilty to all four charges on his client’s behalf.

“He gave false evidence about having placed a bet on an NRL club that the club he was playing for was involved in, namely the Bulldogs vs Titans on June 18,” a police document before the court says.

Detectives from the Racing and Casino investigation unit have also accused Tandy of giving false evidence about “a conversation discussing his position on the field for the kick-off in the North Queensland Cowboys and Canterbury Bulldogs match on August 21, 2010.”

The third new charge relates to lies Tandy allegedly told the hearing about his betting activity and access to his TAB account. It followed an early hearing on January 20, where police allege Tandy gave false evidence about his betting activities with a man, former journalist John Schell.

Tandy remains on bail and his matter will return to court next month. Tandy’s solicitor Danny Eid entered the not guilty pleas as his client sat silently in the front row of the court.

If convicted Tandy faces up to five years in jail.

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Dodgy NRL player manager Sam Ayoub arrested today over match Fixing

Ex player and cheat John Elias was arrested today over the Match Fixing Saga