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Seibold ‘troll’ revealed as former part-time referees official in bush

According to sources with knowledge of their identity, the individual’s connection to the NSWRL was as a part-time refereeing official in regional NSW.

NRL integrity unit investigators have spoken to the person. It is alleged the person forwarded on the rumours about Seibold, rather than instigating them, but their status in the game was so minor the matter was not taken any further by head office.

It was reported on Tuesday by The Australian that the European cybercrime firm Seibold has engaged had provided him with names of more high-profile figures said to have had some part in the rumour-spreading. As of Tuesday afternoon, though, neither Seibold nor his legal team had not passed on any additional names, according to league sources.

Contacted on Tuesday, Seibold said: “The NRL integrity unit have received the report given to my solicitor and [Broncos chairman] Karl Morris a number of weeks ago. I’ve nothing further to add to the matter as it’s been also handed to police.”

NRL sources say there have to date been no registered players or officials among the names given to them by Seibold and in any case are doubtful there is any way to properly get to the bottom of who started the rumours.

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It is why there is no active investigation into the Seibold affair at the NRL even though officials feel desperately sorry for what he had to endure in the final months of his tenure at Brisbane, which ended prematurely with the team en route ultimately to a first ever wooden spoon.

It has also emerged that NSW Police is not investigating the Seibold trolling and they are unlikely to, given there was no threat made to the safety of the coach or his family, as distasteful and hurtful as the tales being told about him were. The absence of cyber-bullying legislation in Australia also makes a police response difficult in Seibold’s case, although Queensland Police say they are investigating after a complaint from the 46-year-old.

Seibold told 60 Minutes on Sunday his last couple of months in particular had been “pretty tough”. “In some ways it’s like the wild west out there,” he said. “My situation went viral with defamatory comments. My reputation was ruined in a lot of respects.”

He said he would “like to see some people made accountable.”

The chances, though, of the former Dally M Coach of the Year obtaining the outcome he wants after this sordid affair are fading by the day.

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