Former NQ Cowboys’ boss shocked but backs ‘honest' club
DENIS Keeffe is standing behind the NRL club he was chief executive officer of for four years, despite it being named as one of six under investigation for doping, match-fixing or organised crime in sport.
The North Queensland Cowboys, along with Penrith, Canberra, Manly, Newcastle and Cronulla, have been named as being in a report by the Australian Crime Commission into doping, match-fixing and organised crime in sport.
Yesterday, Keeffe adamantly stood behind the Cowboys, calling for details to be released as soon as possible and allow the club to get rid of any bad players and move forward.
"Why I was shocked is because I know who most of those people involved in the club, including the coaches and the players, and I know the club would never condone any systematic cheating," the CQ Capras and CQ NRL Bid CEO said.
"If it's happening there, I think it would be a very, very small number of people and they would be doing it unauthorised. I'm sure of it. I would stake everything I've got on this because of the core of that club."
Keefe referred to former St Brendan's College student, former Cowboys player and current head of science of the high performance unit at the Cowboys, Paul Bowman, as one of the men that represent the core values of the club.
"He is not a cheat. As a matter of fact, people like Paul Bowman epitomise good sportsmanship," he said.
Keeffe pointed out that all rugby league players would be tarred with the same brush until the details were released, which was unfair to community-minded, good sportsmen like Jonathon Thurston, Matt Bowen and Matt Scott.
"It's as if the game is crook - and the game couldn't be healthier," he said.