Yep it's true and I'll explain why. There are just two ways of taking a digital photograph.
1) You use in-camera (or phone) pre-sets or auto settings. These are what cheats use. The files produced are called JPEGS - it's an acronym for something but I won't bore you with that. The photographer has to do nothing more. The important processing decisions have already been made. By someone else.
2) You choose to shoot RAW. This is effectively a digital negative and the resulting, lifeless, binary file made up of 0s and 1s HAS to be processed using software in order for it to become a usable photograph. Get the idea? The photographer has to do all the work and make ALL the decisions. Later, using software. Such as Lightroom (LR) or Capture One or Photoshop or something else. The best photographer in the world using the best camera and lenses would sell ZERO prints or books made up of unprocessed RAW files. It's that simple, there is no choice, it's part of the process, it aint cheating, end of story. So, to recap...
SHOOT JPEGS The camera/phone manufacturer's software pre-processes the RAW file for you. All the photographer has to do is to choose a setting - 'landscape', 'beach', 'portrait' etc. Or, more likely, 'auto'. Using camera pre-settings created by Sony, Canon, Nikon, Panansonic, Pentax, Ricoh or some other company could easily be regarded as cheating because the photographer has allowed crucial creative and technical decisions like white balance, shutter speed, aperture, ISO, saturation, contrast, luminosity and vibrance (for example) to be made for them. And, of course, an identical image taken by half a dozen cameras will all end up looking slightly (or markedly) different as each manufacturer has its own output style. Over which the photographer has zero control.
SHOOT RAW The photographer processes (or edits) the RAW file without assistance. Nothing is automated. ALL editing (creative and technical) decisions are made by the photographer and no-one else. Not all photographers are good at this however. I count myself as average but I'm getting better and I spend 10 to 15 minutes maximum on each image, often much less. Some images that I see posted are way over-saturated and exaggerated. Including some of my own. This is not cheating - it is simply bad processing and the better photographer will quickly learn that this is not good even if it gets a positive reaction on social media channels. But that's another story for another day.