THE National Rugby League has labelled a slew of electronic material linked to the alleged Cowboys-Bulldogs betting plunge as "bogus" and dismissed rumours it would issue life bans to perpetrators 24 hours after the grand final.
NRL operations chief Graham Annesley dismissed the texts and emails and scuppered suggestions the governing body was set to rock the code by issuing life bans.
"There is nothing to it as far as we know in relation to all the allegations that are in those texts and emails," he said.
The continuing police investigation into suspicious betting activity on the round-24 clash has sparked a torrent of damaging text messages and emails that are sweeping the rugby league industry.
Almost identical in content, the viral texts and emails claim up to eight people - including three Cowboys players - are facing fines or life bans for their alleged involvement in an attempted sting on the North Queensland-Bulldogs match.
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Courier-Mail staff have in the past fortnight been swamped with an unprecedented number of allegations, most highly defamatory to players and other league identities.
One text message sent to The Courier-Mail reads in part: "Hot off the press boys, 6 players and 1 manager will get a life ban on Monday for match-fixing in the NRL ... 3 from Cowboys, 2 Bulldogs and a Storm player."
The message then reveals the identity of seven individuals. For legal reasons, the names cannot be published.
The content has become so widely circulated that it is believed to be factual.
NSW State Crime Command detectives have obtained the material and there were suggestions the code was bracing for the NRL and police to deliver its findings the day after the Roosters-Dragons grand final.
But Annesley said the NRL had not discussed handing out life bans on Monday.
"The fact the (email) says we're going to hand out life bans after the grand final just demonstrates that the email is completely bogus. It's simply not true," he said.
"What I can absolutely guarantee you is that we've had no internal discussions about any action whatsoever because we don't know what the police are going to find.
"Until we get something back from the police, either that they are doing something or doing nothing, we're not in a position to discuss any internal action."
Annesley said he was well aware of the emails. "It's a sign of the times, these viral emails spread like wildfire," he said.
"Where did it start from? Who knows, but it certainly hasn't come from anyone who knows anything. Until the police hand down their finding, we're all in the dark."
As revealed by The Courier-Mail a fortnight ago, police investigators have identified persons of interest in the NRL betting saga.
Detectives will begin quizzing Cowboys players, but it is understood many will be interviewed as potential witnesses rather than key suspects.
Racing NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy, who has tabled a report to the NRL, said he was also aware of the electronic gossip surrounding the probe.
"I've seen the texts but until the police make some announcement I'm not sure where these rumours can take you."
Asked if the names in the texts and email were accurate, Murrihy said: "I'm not prepared to say who is or isn't involved."