The latest brawl in the NRL cries for an investigation into the Integrity Unit for a lack of proper investigation into an alleged affair, writes Paul Kent.
The latest brawl in the NRL cries for an investigation into the Integrity Unit for a lack of proper investigation into an alleged affair, writes Paul Kent.

'This NRL story is so tawdry you need an antiseptic bath'


Every now and then in this job comes along a story so tawdry you feel like a good antiseptic bath afterward.

But in these modern times where celebrity gossip is packaged as genuine news it qualifies, like Kim Kardashian's bum implants.

Most of us couldn't care what Kim sits on, just so long as she stays sitting down. But there you are.

The latest brawl in the NRL surrounds cries for an investigation into the NRL Integrity Unit for a supposed lack of proper investigation concerning a North Queensland Cowboys player's alleged affair some years back.

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The former husband of the woman is driving the complaint and is managing to create noise.

The questions seem valid.

Why has the NRL sat on the investigation?

Why wasn't it properly investigated at the time?

By declaring it is not a police matter, does that warrant the NRL's lack of investigation?

The answers are quite simple.

The NRL claims it did investigate at the time, so did not sit on it, and believed they investigated it thoroughly enough to determine if illegal behaviour took place and the most the player was guilty of doing was having an extra marital affair.


The game has never claimed to be a moral guardian.

Some have called for an investigation based on the assumption that one of their encounters took place in an airport toilet - an illegality!! - but that has been defeated.

There is no evidence it happened at all, uncovered in the original investigation.

This explains why no police involvement took place. The player committed no crime.

Dissatisfied with this, the jilted husband has continued to agitate for action by the NRL against the player.

So when the recent Sam Burgess allegations were made (all denied), which included allegations of false prescriptions being written by the club doctor, the man took a different tact, presenting the NRL with evidence that the club gave him valium without a prescription.





He claims a club official gave him valium to calm him down on a day he took his complaints to the club.

As a truck driver, he later tested positive to valium and was in danger of losing his job so, in a bid to help him, he claims the club organised for a doctor to write a letter saying he had prescribed him the valium because he "experienced a family crisis and was stressed and unable to sleep".



The man, dissatisfied with the original outcome of the Integrity Unit's investigation, has since rescinded that part of his story to reveal the valium was prescribed retroactively.

The doctor pleaded guilty before a medical board and was cautioned.

This will now become a matter for the Cowboys, and what internal action the club takes.

The latest allegation seems like retaliatory behaviour from a man who was wronged.

It is terribly sad and in some ways understandable, but he has shown uncommon zest to get what he considers justice all these years later.

The NRL understands but wonders what it can do.



Phone message from the husband.
Phone message from the husband.


An extra marital affair is no business of theirs, mine or even yours.

Yet some continue to campaign for action.

Those inside the NRL might have a personal view on the incident but, with no legal action taking place, the NRL is unwilling to get involved.



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So other than bringing the game into disrepute, for the ugly headlines the investigation has created, there is little left for the NRL to investigate.

And if the player is no longer playing, which is possible given this incident happened several years back, there is no action the game can take against him for bringing the game into disrepute.

So far, the jilted husband has no doubt garnered enormous public sympathy.

But there are no winners.


Originally published as Kent: NRL story so tawdry you need an antiseptic bath