NRL fines former Rabbitohs star Sam Burgess $30,000 over historical incidents

Former South Sydney Rabbitohs star Sam Burgess has been fined $30,000 and suspended for 12 weeks as a club official after an NRL integrity unit investigation.

The penalty is the result of multiple incidents during his time as a player and official, including taking illicit drugs in 2018, threatening another rugby league player in the same year, and driving with drugs in his system in 2021.

The investigation could not find enough evidence to support domestic violence allegations.

In a statement, Burgess said he took full responsibility for the way “certain parts” of his life had gone, while thanking the NRL for clearing his name over the domestic violence allegations.

“I stand strongly against violence towards women,” he said.

“It has no place in society, no place in sport and no place in my life.

“I am thankful the NRL has finally cleared my name against all allegations of domestic violence. I have now been cleared of three very public and defamatory investigations. This has been a long and damaging process, taking a toll on me both physically and mentally.

“I have accepted full responsibility for the way certain parts of my life have unfolded throughout the last three years. I can now move on and continue the next phase of my life knowing the truth has been revealed. I have made impactful and positive changes to my life and I am focusing on improving and developing as a man, son, father and now coach.”

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The Rabbitohs were also fined $20,000 for not immediately reporting an allegation made by a member of the public to the integrity unit.

“The Rabbitohs responded to the breach notice at the time and now accepts the fine that has been imposed,” South Sydney said in a statement.

“The Rabbitohs wish to reiterate that there is no place in our society for violence, harassment or abuse against women.

“The club also takes issues of drug use very seriously and has established policies and procedures in place around the use of drugs.

“The club works closely with the playing group to support their wellbeing and educate them about drug use, and also works closely with Sport Integrity Australia and the NRL who administer testing of the players.”

Burgess stood himself down from club duties in October 2020, with his stand-down counted as time served.

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