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Sport doping spotlight narrows

SIX NRL teams, the Essendon Football Club and an AFL player from another team were at the centre of the drug and corruption scandal engulfing Australian sport yesterday.

AFL Deputy Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan told reporters in Melbourne the AFL was aware of one instance where a player of one club may have used performance enhancing drugs and several players at Essendon could have been administered prohibited substances "without their knowledge or consent".

He said the AFL was aware of vulnerabilities in the system for performance enhancing drugs to be used but did not believe banned substances were rife in the game.

He also denied having any knowledge of suspected match fixing in the AFL competition.

Responding to pressure for the Australian Crime Commission to name the codes involved in the scandal, the six rugby league teams referred to in the report, ACC chief executive John Lawler told News.com legal barriers were delaying the process.

He said many codes were aware of the clubs and individuals involved but were under strict legal obligations not to release any names.

Federal Justice Minister Jason Clare confirmed on the weekend the ACC knew the identity of organised criminals linked to the scandal.

He said the names of individuals in Victoria and NSW had been given to federal police and while he could not say who they were, the announcement was a way of "putting frighteners" into those involved.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard joined calls for teams to come clean yesterday.

Speaking to reporters following meetings on trans-Tasman relations in New Zealand, Ms Gillard said it was time for managers to "get out there and explain what is going on with your club".

"For clubs who have absolutely nothing to hide then it will come as a great relief to fans to know that," Ms Gillard said.

"For clubs who have had problems, then it's better off to step forward and be very clear about that."

Topics:  drugs, essendon, nrl, sports



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