NRL Suspends Stewart, Fines Manly

The National Rugby League has suspended Brett Stewart from playing Rugby League until round five and has fined the Manly club $100,000.<br><br>The NRL makes no judgment in relation to any matter being investigated by police and stresses that these actions do not cast any view in relation to their outcome.<br><br>Stewart will be suspended under the NRL Code of Conduct in a decision that was given the full support of an angry NRL Board when they discussed the issue via a phone hook-up this morning and expressed dismay at recent events.<br><br>“Brett could not have been in a more high profile position of trust for the game on the eve of a season than he was last week and we believe he should have recognized the honour that he was given and the responsibility that went with it,” NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said today.<br><br>“By any estimation there was an abuse of alcohol in the aftermath of a club function that has led in some part to the game being placed under enormous pressure.<br><br>“The players and the clubs need to know that we are not going to accept that.<br><br>“The Manly club has today delivered its report into the function and the measures simply weren’t sufficient to stop drinking getting out of hand in the case of some of the players. Brett was both refused service of alcohol and asked leave the premises.<br><br>“This should serve as a warning to all clubs going forward and we note that Manly has already flagged a new policy around future events.<br><br>“Manly has also undertaken to review its on-going stance in relation to Brett playing after round five on the basis of any new information that may come to light.” <br><br><a href="http://www.nrl.com/News/Latest/tabid/10244/default.aspx?id=53963">Read the AAP report</a> <br><br>Note:<br><br>The Breach notices of this type are issued under section 20 (2) of the NRL Code of Conduct which states:<br><br>“Every person bound by this Code shall, whether or not he is attending an official function arranged for the NRL, the NRL Competition, the Related Competitions, Representative Matches, the ARL Competitions or a Club, conduct himself at all times in public in a sober, courteous and professional manner.”<br><br>A club or player has five business days in which to respond after receiving the formal breach notice at which time the penalty will either be confirmed or varied. Disputed matters can be taken to The NRL Appeals Committee comprises a Chairman who has served for or qualified as a judge, a nominee of the Rugby League Players Association, and Nominee of the Chairman of the NRL Club Council.<br><br>