The NRL will consider employing a fulltime integrity officer similar to those used in the racing industry in response to the police investigation which has resulted in a charge against Canterbury prop Ryan Tandy.
League boss David Gallop said the NRL was working with other sports and the federal government on anti-corruption measures but would not hesitate in creating a position similar to a racing steward if it was needed.
Tandy was arrested last week and charged with providing false or misleading evidence to the NSW Crime Commission, which continues to investigate an irregular betting plunge on a match between the Bulldogs and North Queensland last August.
Advertisement: Story continues below The NRL used Racing NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy to investigate betting on the Dairy Farmers Stadium match before referring the matter to police.
“An in-house resource may well not have the expertise that Ray Murrihy has, so there are different arguments around the issue but certainly where we need dedicated resources we won’t hesitate in putting them in place,” Gallop told reporters on Monday.
“All sports are looking at better integrity measures, we’re working with the federal government on that and we may well see some improvements … across sport generally in terms of specific legislation to deal with people that want to corrupt sport.”
Gallop said players didn’t need constant reminding about integrity issues, but did use the spot-fixing scandal engulfing Pakistan cricket to remind NRL stars of the consequences.
“If you’re involved in corrupting rugby league then I would have thought that life bans are well and truly on the cards,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bulldogs boss Todd Greenberg said he was unaware Tandy may have had a gambling problem when he joined the club midway through last season.
Reports suggest the journeyman frontrower had been dealing with the issue.
“We did some significant checks on Ryan with his old club, through his manager (Sam Ayoub), and we were given a glowing endorsement of him as a player and a person,” Greenberg said.
Ayoub’s home was reportedly one of three raided, including Tandy’s, before the 29-year-old’s arrest.
Canterbury’s players, who take on the Sydney Roosters in their first trial game this Saturday, returned to training on Monday for the first time since Tandy was relieved of his duties at the Bulldogs.
“There’s no anger,” captain Andrew Ryan said. "We’ve got a job to do. It’s pretty simple from our point of view.
“I think the club’s made the right decision at the moment and we need to move on.”
Greenberg, coach Kevin Moore and Ryan said they had yet to speak with Tandy, although football manager Alan Thompson has been in contact.
Greenberg said the club would bounce back from its latest drama.
“We’ve done a lot of work, the Bulldogs, over the last three years to make sure people know what we stand for in the community,” he said.
“This won’t change that.”
The controversy spilled across the Tasman on Monday with revelations the New Zealand TAB rejected a bet “well in the thousands” from a woman for a North Queensland penalty goal to be the first score in the August 21 match.
The NZ TAB suspended betting on the option before contacting agencies in Australia and sending authorities material such as pictures and video footage, NZPA reported.