Wed, Feb 2, 7:42pm by Kevin Pitstock
Canterbury Bulldogs prop Ryan Tandy might yet face up to five years jail if he is found guilty of providing false evidence during the course of the inquiries in to the NRL rugby league betting scandal last year.
The scandal involved betting around the NRL exotic betting options involving the first points of the game. In the game in question the penalty goal first point scorer option was smashed in from over $13.00 to less than $5.00 before spooked bookmakers pulled the market.
The massive betting plunge was made on a Canterbury game last year on the first points of the game to be a penalty goal against the Bulldogs.
Tandy was charged today by detectives from the NSW Crime Command’s Racing and Casino Investigation Unit, following a probe into suspicious betting activity on a North Queensland and Canterbury NRL Rugby League game in Townsville last year.
Directly in front of goals last year Tandy gave away a penalty for lying on Cowboys Grant Rovelli in front of the posts two minutes into the game at Dairy Farmers Stadium last August.
If any attempted fix was in, it was thwarted when a Cowboys player Anthony Watts ignored the obvious two pointer and took the quick tap which immediately led to a try.
Tandy had earlier lost possession in a sloppy play the ball in the opening hit up of the game giving the Cowboys possession.
In January the NSW Crime Commission announced that Ryan Tandy and Parramatta player Brad Murray were among the people of interest summoned to front a NSW Crime Commission hearing as police finalised their investigation of last season’s NRL betting scandal.
It is understood that as a result of that investigation Tandy was arrested by the NSW Firearms and Organised Crime Squad today on charges of giving false evidence to an inquiry.
An official police statement says that “About 11.15am a 29-year-old man was arrested by police in Sydney’s CBD, before being taken to City Central Police Station. Charges are expected to be laid.”
That person is now known to be Tandy and he was arrested after search warrants were executed by police at a unit in Bronte, a home in Strathfield, and a home at Punchbowl, where police located and seized relevant documentation and mobile phones.
It is rumoured to be the tip of the iceberg in the 2010 Rugby League betting scandal with many internet forums and discussion sites suggesting from the very early days of the investigation that more than a few players were involved; including at least one very high profile player, a player manager and several other rugby league and racing identities. In fact some sources are suggesting this could be bigger than the Melbourne Storm salary cap scandal if it blows truly wide open.
All three players Ryan Tandy, Brad Murray and Anthony Watts are managed by Sam Ayoub who, according to sources, also placed a bet on the Cowboys penalty goal option. In fact during the NSW Crime Commission hearings Murray was represented by solicitor Danny Eid, who also acts for player agent Sam Ayoub, as well as the player in question Ryan Tandy.
Canterbury Bulldogs Rugby Leagues Club today released a statement saying that “The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs can confirm that the Club has received notification from NSW Police that player Ryan Tandy was this morning arrested over allegations of giving false and misleading information to the NSW Crime Commission.
He was arrested and charged and was later released on conditional bail.
The Bulldogs will continue to cooperate with all requests from both NSW Police and the NRL. Given that this matter is currently in the hands of the NSW Police, the Club will make no further comment at this stage.”
The impications of the scandal could be very big for Tandy as the offence carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison if found guilty.
NRL spokesman John Brady said the NRL would not be pushing for Tandy to be stood down at this stage, but the situation could change should more information come to light.
“A number of players have played when they have been charged, we do not have the information that allows us to take a view at the moment, it was a closed hearing, with the police before it goes to court,” Brady said.
Firearms and Organised Crime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis today said “Police are treating this investigation seriously. It’s not a game, this is real life; and police will continue with their investigations in an endeavour to uncover the truth and ensure justice is done”.
“If anyone has been involved with, or has information about criminal activity regarding betting allegations, we urge them to come forward and assist police while they still have the opportunity,” Det Supt Katsogiannis said.
Tandy, a former NSW Central Coast Kincumber junior has in the past been linked to a betting scandal at a Central Coast leagues club after a greyhound betting rort that saw him barred for life from Erina Leagues Club.
It is rumoured that the incident which occurred in 2000, and involved an upnaid $1,000 bet on a greyhound race; was reported to police but no charges were laid after crucial CCTV evidence went missing.
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