A lunch at a Brisbane pub has proved to be an expensive exercise for the Brisbane Broncos and 10 of its players with the NRL handing out $140,000 in fines.
The group had lunch at the Everton Park Hotel on August 1, and while not in breach of Queensland health rules, it was found to be a breach of NRL biosecurity protocols.
The club itself has been fined $75,000 for what the NRL has described as a ‘significant failure.’
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Seven full-time players have been fined five per cent of their salaries, totalling $65,000.
Those copping the fines are David Fifita, Jake Turpin, Kotoni Staggs, Cory Paix, Keenan Palasia, Sean O’Sullivan and Corey Oates.
Development players Ethan Bullemor, Josh James and Tyson Gamble will have a portion of their fines suspended.
“We have taken our time to thoroughly investigate this matter so we could gather as much evidence as possible to determine exactly what happened at the venue,” NRL Acting Chief Executive Andrew Abdo said.
“It is our view that this breach involved a significant failure of the club to properly administer the League’s biosecurity protocols.”
Broncos CEO Paul White says the club was not aware of the pub visit, nor approved it.
“We accept the imposition of the $75,000 fine, as the Club has ultimate accountability for the actions of our players,” White said.
“The players will also pay a price in terms of individual sanctions.
“It is an expensive lesson for us all, but it reinforces how important these protocols are to the survival of our competition and community health.”