Anthony Seibold’s bitter rival Wayne Bennett has reportedly been cleared of involvement in the alleged slanderous rumours spread about the former Broncos coach.
Reports earlier this week revealed Seibold had given the NRL a list of names identified by an investigation into vile rumours spread about him and his family on social media.
Legal representatives for the former Broncos coach, who was forced out of the Broncos last week, have provided the NRL Integrity Unit with the identities of people believed to be involved in spreading the rumours.
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The Australian reported at least one “well-known figure” was seeking legal advice after being identified.
Seibold hired legal representation and European cybersecurity experts to track down the source of the rumours. His lawyer Dave Garratt previously said a “prominent name” was a person of interest in the investigation, with further reports indicating the origin of the smear campaign had links to the NRL.
Seibold paid out of his own pocket to fund the investigation, and may pursue legal action, but the NRL Integrity Unit may also step in if a rugby league player, coach or official is found to have links to the sordid saga.
Now The Courier-Mail’s senior rugby league reporter Peter Badel has posted on Twitter: “Anthony Seibold cyber investigation ramps up with lawyers delivering at least three names to NRL integrity unit after troll probe. The trio are Sydney based.
“Wayne Bennett is not involved.”
The Courier-Mail reports Bennett has responded to suggestions his war of words with Seibold following their turbulent coaching swap in 2018 makes him a potential person of interest, insisting he can’t be a person of interest because he doesn’t use social media.
The report has confirmed earlier reports the list of names handed over by Seibold and his investigative team include three names of people with links to the NRL.
Widespread reports claim the three figures listed are all based in Sydney.
It comes after revelations earlier this week the Rabbitohs reportedly warned the Brisbane Broncos about Seibold’s susceptibility to criticism before he replaced Bennett as head coach in 2018.
Rabbitohs officials are reported to have communicated to the Broncos after the ill-fated coaching swap had already been made that Seibold had a habit of reacting poorly to scrutiny and criticism.
Seibold is reported to have become “somewhat paranoid” by the spectre of Bennett lingering at the Broncos Red Hill training headquarters. He was intent on eradicating any reference to the veteran coach and removed Bennett-scripted slogans from the gym.
Less than two years into his mammoth five-year contract with Brisbane, Seibold stepped down as head coach last week after reportedly negotiating a pay-out on his way out the door.