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3 hours ago | Tim Costello
The NRL today issued the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs with a breach notice proposing a fine of $250,000 relating to the club's post-season function.
CEO Todd Greenberg said the proposed penalty reflects the seriousness of the behaviour and the damage which has been caused to the game.
He said three players are under police investigation and the build up to the first week of the finals series has been badly damaged by the failure of the Bulldogs to properly manage the event.
Mr Greenberg said the NRL had:
"The club organised the event and failed to implement the most basic of measures to ensure it was conducted in an appropriate way," Mr Greenberg said.
"The club's failure to manage the event followed specific directives to all clubs to ensure these type of events do not damage our game.
"The players' behaviour embarrassed themselves, their club and the game on the eve of the Finals Series."
The penalty proposed by the NRL has been influenced strongly by the fact that the club organised the event, senior club officials were present and some of the activities took place in an area which is in view of the general public.
"The actions of some players and officials was inexcusable and we are determined to send a message that it will not be tolerated on this occasion - or in the future," Mr Greenberg said.
"There has been a real improvement in player behaviour this year - and we should all acknowledge that.
"But to have this kind of incident on the eve of our finals is more than disappointing and there has to be a deterrent to ensure we have no repeat of this behaviour."
Mr Greenberg said the NRL expects the club to take the lead on sanctions against players and staff involved.
He said the club's response will be taken into consideration when the final penalty is determined.
Mr Greenberg said the Bulldogs have five business days to respond to the breach notice before a final determination is made.