The NRL said today it has terminated the registration of Wests Tigers player Tim Simona.
CEO Todd Greenberg said an Integrity Unit investigation found that Simona had:
- Breached the NRL rules by betting on Rugby League matches
- Bet on opposition players scoring – and against his team winning
- Sold Rugby League jerseys through online auctions without passing on the full proceeds to the nominated charities
- Been untruthful in his interviews with the Integrity Unit
The Integrity Unit was also presented with other information, relating to his interaction with a third party, which has been considered.
Mr Greenberg said Simona clearly had serious personal issues, was remorseful and it was sad that an elite athlete had thrown away the opportunities presented to him.
He said the game would continue to offer him welfare services and monitor his wellbeing.
But Mr Greenberg said the breaches were at the high end of the integrity scale and the NRL had no alternative but to deregister him.
"Based on the evidence we have identified it is very hard to imagine that Tim Simona will be registered with the NRL at any time in the future," Mr Greenberg said.
"There is nothing more important than the integrity of our game.
"Our fans have a right to expect that every player on every team is doing his best to win each game and we will be relentless in dealing with anyone who attempts to breach this trust."
Mr Greenberg said Simona made it clear in text messages that he not only knew he was breaking the rules in relation to betting on games – but he knew the consequences as well.
"At the end of the day he has deliberately flouted the laws of the game for his own gain and there is no place for him in the NRL," Mr Greenberg said.
"This is a warning to everyone in our game that if you try to meddle with the integrity of the game you will be caught and the consequences will be harsh."