RAPE charges against Saints star Stephen Milne were dropped partly because they would cost too much if the case failed, a former detective has claimed.
Mike Smith backed allegations made by his co-investigator, Scott Gladman, that other police had tried to derail their investigation.
No charges were laid against Milne or teammate Leigh Montagna over a woman's claims that she was raped at Montagna's home. Both men deny any wrongdoing.
The Office of Police Integrity yesterday announced an inquiry into Mr Gladman's claims.
Last night, Mr Smith told Nine News
that money was one of the reasons they were given for the decision not to go ahead with the case.
He said it was suggested that because Milne and teammate Montagna could afford top lawyers, "it would cost the department a lot of money" if the prosecution were unsuccessful.
"We thought we'd done a great job," he said of the investigation.
"We couldn't do a better brief of evidence if we tried."
He said the news that his superior officer and the Director of Public Prosecutions had decided not to prosecute was a turning point in his career.
"That one investigation shattered it for me," he said.
The mother of the alleged victim said the family was bitterly disappointed with the decision six years ago, but had finally managed to get their lives back together.
"Detective Gladman's bravery and honesty may bring about an end to it once and for all. He's always shown integrity over the matter," she said.
Mr Smith said he had urged the family to make a formal complaint after constant leaks of information, including media being alerted within 15 minutes of the alleged victim going to police.