Cronulla Sharks chief executive Barry Russell addresses reporters.
Cronulla Sharks chief executive Barry Russell addresses reporters.

Sharks reveal when cheating happened, how it was found

CRONULLA boss Barry Russell has revealed how he uncovered alleged salary cap cheating at the club and exactly when the rorting happened.

Russell wasn't chief executive at the time of the alleged cheating and said he unearthed the "discrepancies" when he arrived to take the chair this year.

When he found records of the illegal payments from the 2015 season, he said he immediately contacted the NRL to report them.

The NRL has been investigating the club for the past three months.

"Part of my initial role when I started was to conduct a full governance review, like any new CEO I wanted to have a good look at the business," Russell told media on Wednesday.

"In doing that I came across some salary cap discrepancies relating back some years ago, which I felt weren't appropriate and weren't within the NRL guidelines.

"I took it upon myself to contact the NRL integrity unit and declare these discrepancies.

"I wanted the reputation of our club, given our past, to be intact."

Russell revealed the rorting was done in the 2015 season.

The NRL had previously refused to reveal exactly when the cheating was meant to have taken place.

Russell also revealed no players from the current Sharks squad were involved in the scandal.

"We have nothing to hide. We want to get to the bottom of any issues or discrepancies," he said.

"I envisage that this investigation will go through to the off-season. I don't have a time frame."

If Russell is correct, it means the club's 2016 premiership should be safe.

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