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The National Rugby League (NRL) has today issued players Latrell Mitchell, Josh Addo-Carr, Nathan Cleary and Tyronne Roberts-Davis with breach notices for bringing the game into disrepute.
The notices allege that Mitchell, Addo-Carr, Roberts-Davis and Cleary have each shown a blatant disregard for public health orders, guidelines and advice and in doing so have brought significant reputational damage to the NRL.
Penalties proposed, which reflect the severity of each Player's alleged breach are:
All four players will have five days to respond to the breach notices before a final determination is made.
Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) Chair Peter V'landys said:
"The players have a responsibility to the game and community. It is important that, in these challenging times, we all have to work together to combat COVID-19 and compliance with public health orders is a critical requirement,'' he said.
"The players have to understand that they are putting the game and the community at risk by their actions. It's certainly hard to accept such behaviour when the game is doing everything it can to persuade the community that its players are responsible and behave appropriately.
"The penalties have been structured so as to give these players one further opportunity to demonstrate that they can be trusted. If they contravene again, then those parts of the penalty that have been suspended will be activated and they may also be subject to further sanction."
NRL Acting Chief Executive Andrew Abdo said the game acted quickly to send a clear message to all players and the wider community.
"The sanctions proposed today are stronger than fines which can be imposed by authorities because we hold our players to a higher standard and they must set a higher standard for the community,'' he said.
"We are focused on resuming the competition on May 28, something our fans and stakeholders are excited about. Players who do not comply with community and NRL protocols will face sanction."