Nick Kyrgios Tennis

Nick Kyrgios cops $US113,000 fine for ‘disgusting’ on-court meltdown

Nick Kyrgios has been fined a whopping $US113,000 ($167,000) following his latest on-court outburst, this time at the Cincinnati Masters.

The Association of Tennis Professionals issued the 24-year-old with the long list of offences following his second round loss to Russian eighth seed Karen Khachanov.

During the match, the Aussie tennis player unleashed on umpire Fergus Murphy calling him a “f***ing tool bro” before appearing to spit towards him.

He also labelled the ref a “potato” and claimed he was the “worst ref in the world”.

This was followed by a toilet break, which saw Kyrgios destroy two racquets in the player’s tunnel before making his way back onto the court.

ESPN commentators described the outburst as “disgusting”, with reports he could still cop a suspension over the incident.

“The ATP is looking further into what happened during and immediately after the match to see if additional action is warranted under the Player Major Offense section of the code,” The ATP said in a statement.

NRL Football

NRL doubles down on off-field scandals

NRL boss Todd Greenberg has doubled down on threats to throw the book at players misbehaving, saying they’re going to a get a “whack” from the game.

With just four rounds remaining before half the league enters its off-season, Greenberg on Wednesday warned clubs about the consequences of misbehaviour.

“I reminded the clubs today that that’s the last time I’ll see all 16 club CEOs in a room until well into September,” Greenberg said.

“And I reminded them of their obligations as leaders of their clubs to ensure that they are well-prepared for anything that happens post-season.

“Onus of responsibility is on clubs and players.

“It’s pretty simple: Behave yourself, enjoy yourself, but hold yourself to account and understand you represent the game at all times.”

Greenberg’s comments come as the integrity unit closes in on completing its investigation into Parramatta forward Shaun Lane.

Photos emerged this week appearing to show Lane holding a bag of white substance reportedly during end-of-season celebrations with Manly last year.

Lane went on to join the Eels over the summer, where he has become a critical part in their push from wooden spooners to finals contenders.

A punishment is expected to be handed down before the weekend, with Lane likely to be heavily fined.

Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler, who wasn’t at the club last year, was reluctant to discuss the details of the events but suggested the photos may have been a joke.

“For players, it’d be idiotic to try and, particularly in regards to the image of the game, if it was a gee-up or a bad joke,” Hasler told reporters on Wednesday.

“Who knows what the powder was? It could’ve been Panadol or Disprin.

“At the end of the day, don’t risk it, because it sounds, at the end of the day, there’s going to be a hefty fine on the back of it.”

Hasler was unsure if eliminating Mad Monday celebrations was the solution.

“It’s a discussion that’s always come out … define what Mad Monday is. There’s just got to be smart planning and accountability shown.”

The latest scandal comes after the game introduced a no-fault stand-down policy for players charged with serious criminal offences earlier in the year.

Greenberg said the strengthened code gave him confidence that the game would endure less drama off the field this off-season after a plethora of incidents after 2018 had wrapped up.

“We now have the strongest rules in any sport in this country, and you might argue stronger than any other rules across the world in relation to sanctions of players and the ability for us to hold players out for alleged behaviour or charges,” he said.

“We’ve demonstrated that this year on three individual occasions.

“And I’ve been very clear publicly from the start of this year right to now, that if you put yourself out of the crease, you give the game a black eye, and you behave poorly, there will be consequences.

“I’ve been criticised this year a number of times for going hard at players for those consequences, and we’re going to keep doing it because if players keep doing the wrong thing, they’re going to get a whack from the game.”

© AAP 2019

Don’t give up, Titans youngster pleads

With just four weeks left in an NRL season to forget, Gold Coast’s players are being urged to fight to the end by youngster Jai Whitbread.

The Titans look certain to pick up the 2019 wooden spoon following last Saturday’s 40-28 loss to St George Illawarra at Kogarah.

The defeat was their fourth in a row since coach Garth Brennan’s sacking last month.

At the time, the playing squad was put on notice: they needed to prove their commitment to the club.

But as a threat, it has failed to spark results.

A roster clear-out looks unlikely with reports suggesting new coach Justin Holbrook will have to make do with just $100,000 in salary cap space for next season.

Underperforming big-money recruits like Tyrone Peachey, Shannon Boyd, Leilani Latu and Bryce Cartwright are all under contract until at least the end of 2020.

Ryley Jacks and Brenko Lee the only first team regulars without a deal for next year.

Despite having little left to play for this season, Whitbread is urging his teammates to hang tough over the final four matches of the campaign.

“We all love what we do … we’ve got to get ourselves up,” the 21-year-old Gold Coast junior said.

“We use each other as morale boosts and we’re not giving up on each other. It is difficult when things aren’t going our way but that’s just what we’ve got to do.

“The season hasn’t gone the way we’ve wanted so we’ve got to finish it off the best we can and do it together.”

© AAP 2019

Gold Coast Titans Ashley Taylor

Taylor needs more time away from NRL

Gold Coast coach Craig Hodges admits in hindsight Ash Taylor wasn’t physically ready to make his NRL return against Sydney Roosters last week.

Taylor has been withdrawn from the Titans’ team to face St George Illawarra on Saturday after returning from a two-month break from first grade in the 58-6 belting by the Roosters.

Hodges says the club had probably made the wrong call bringing Taylor back to face the Roosters at the SCG.

He said returning to training and building up his match fitness in the Queensland Cup was the best approach going forward for the 24-year-old.

“Ash is really keen to play and really excited to get back and try and help his mates but he’s just not quite ready yet,” Hodges said.

“It’s unfair to put him out there when he’s physically not ready.”

Taylor hadn’t played for the Titans since a 6-4 loss to North Queensland in early June after which he was granted indefinite leave to deal with personal issues.

Hodges said the decision to omit Taylor from the Dragons clash wasn’t a mental health issue, purely a football decision.

It’s expected Taylor will return to Queensland Cup action for Tweed Heads this Saturday against the Ipswich Jets.

With just five matches remaining in the NRL season, Hodges wasn’t sure if Taylor would appear again for the Titans in 2019.

“He just needs a little bit more work. If that happens quickly then he’ll play quickly. If it takes a while then it’ll take a while,” he said.

“There’s no set time frame and there’s nothing sinister behind it, it’s just that we need to hold him back from himself a little bit at the moment until he is right.”

© AAP 2019

GC Suns youngster Brayden Crossley facing ban over positive drug test

Gold Coast Suns player Brayden Crossley is facing a lengthy suspension from the game after reportedly testing positive to cocaine.

The club released a statement this afternoon confirming the positive sample.

“We have been notified that Brayden Crossley has received notification of an adverse analytical finding from a recent test by ASADA under the Australian Football Anti-Doping Code.

“The club supports the role of ASADA and will fully cooperate during this process.”

Newscorp reports the 19-year-old tested positive following a test before a NEAFL game in May.

He has been provisionally suspended since late June after being notified of the positive test and is awaiting the result of his B sample.

“We are continuing to provide Brayden with wellbeing support and want to stress that it would be inappropriate to pre-empt the outcome of the matter at this time,” the club said in its statement.

“Brayden has sought independent legal advice to assist him going forward.

“The club’s public commentary on this issue is governed by strict protocols, and as such under the Australian Football Anti-Doping Code we are unable to provide any further commentary whilst the process unfolds.”