Former England rugby captain Chris Robshaw feels all of Saracens' recent trophy wins are tainted.
European champions Sarries won the Premiership over the previous two seasons, but yesterday were found to be in breach of the league's salary cap.
They were deducted 35 points from the current table and fined 5-million pounds.
"Call it what you want. It is cheating," Harlequins skipper Robshaw said at today's Champions Cup launch in Cardiff.
"The game we love is in the world eye, the pinnacle of English rugby is illegal, and I think it puts our sport in a very dangerous place.
"We’re a sport that claims to be whiter than white, and we always look down on football, we look down on this and that and say how it is but we are like everyone else.
"When you look at cheating in athletics, when you look at cheating in cycling, when you look at cheating in baseball or anything, we like to think our sport is cleaner and greener than everyone else.
"It’s not and we have to be realistic about that. As a sport, we have got to take the damage that comes with that now and I’m sure it will be like that for a while.
"I’m sure it’s not going to be easy for our sport to move forward. We have got some damage control to do.
"It’s one of those things that have been spoken about for a long time amongst players and the wider public.
"When you look at their squad, it’s a pretty big squad of international players and I think you don’t have to be a genius to work some of these financial figures out.
"It looks like it’s started to be dealt with. Is it finished? I don’t know, but hopefully it’s going in the right direction and we can get back to a level playing field where we want to compete because that’s what the salary cap is about.
"It’s making sure everyone has a chance, everyone has the same level of funding, can compete and we have a competitive league.
"Saracens are the benchmark, rightly or wrongly for what they have done on or off the field, their players, the way they play, what they have won, legally or illegally, and it’s tough to compete against them.
"Look at everyone else battling to make salary caps, especially when there’s injuries, it can be tough."
ed at under-20 level by Australia and was Connacht's player of the season in 2018.
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