Friday’s Sydney Morning Herald contained startling allegations concerning Daily Tele sports editor-at-large Phil “Buzz” Rothfield and “controversial gambler” Eddie Hayson.

Rothfield is quoted in the SMH’s story, written by Nick McKenzie and Kate McClymont, saying he and Hayson were friends. “Mates punt together and get tickets for each other,” he told the SMH.

You’d think that given the allegations, Rothfield might try to distance himself from Hayson publicly for a while. But he appears to have taken the opposite approach in the Sunday Tele, for which he filed an exclusive interview with the NRL’s Kieran Foran.

Foran was driven to the interview by none other than Hayson, a decade-long friend, Rothfield’s profile notes. The piece also quotes Foran saying of Hayson:

“I can’t speak more highly of the bloke. I know that there is a lot of stuff out there about him. I don’t think a bloke should be judged on what he has done in the past, just because he has owned a brothel. I don’t think that has anything to do with it. The guy is a family man. He has two young kids. He is a good man and a good father.”

No relationship between Rothfield and Hayson, meanwhile, is alluded to or disclosed in the interview write-up.

Aside from his comments to Fairfax, Rothfield hasn’t made any further public comment on the allegations.

Hayson sent McClymont abusive text messages on Friday morning, which she has revealed on her Twitter account.