Coach uncovers names behind vile rumours
Anthony Seibold has handed the NRL a list of names identified by an investigation into vile rumours spread about him and his family on social media.
The Australian reports legal representatives for the former Brisbane Broncos coach, who parted ways with the club during the week, have provided the NRL Integrity Unit with the identities of people believed to be involved in spreading the rumours.
The report claims at least one "well-known figure" is 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.
The Integrity Unit has the power to seize phones to investigate a possible code of conduct breach and can stamp people out of the NRL for good if they are found to be behind the Seibold rumours.
This season has been horrible on a personal and professional front for Seibold. He's left Red Hill less than two years into a five-year deal with the Broncos at their lowest-ever ebb, sitting second-last on the ladder with just three wins all season.
He was forced to self-isolate for two weeks after staying in Sydney because of a "serious" family matter after a Round 13 loss to the Rabbitohs, and then became the target of shocking social media rumours.
Speaking at his farewell press conference during the week, Seibold revealed the moment he realised it was the right time to step down.
RELATED: Seibold responds to 'cancer' claim
"I think the final straw was hopping back on a plane from Sydney when I wanted to be with my daughter," he said.
"Right now I want spend more time with my family as they've made enormous sacrifices in recent times.
"People ask me if there are things I would do different over the last two years, but none of that matters right now.
"I gave my best to the Broncos, but ultimately I am responsible for where we are currently at."
Seibold has previously lashed out at those responsible for targeting him online, saying it was completely unfair for his family to be dragged into things.
"I understand I'm in a high-profile position at a high profile club. But this is my family and other people mentioned in those disgusting and false messages," Seibold told The Daily Telegraph.
"They don't ask to be in the spotlight.
"Say whatever you want about my coaching and the team's performances but to make up lies and all that abuse … it's sickening and I'm not going to cop it.
"Social media has gone to a level that is no longer acceptable.
"There's a big difference between having an opinion and supporting your team but when it's so distressing, so hurtful and so defamatory that's crossed the line. That's why I've gone to the police."
Originally published as Coach uncovers names behind vile rumours