Sydney – England star Sam Burgess was cleared of any wrongdoing on Friday after being caught up in a lewd video chat scandal, with a probe by his club South Sydney Rabbitohs deciding no player had broken any rules.
It followed a report this month that claimed his social media account was used by two unidentified players who allegedly indecently exposed themselves to a young woman without her consent in May.
The club confirmed it had received emails sent by an anonymous complainant in May, June and August which alleged inappropriate conduct by a South Sydney player on a Facebook Messenger video call.
But after an investigation in consultation with the National Rugby League Integrity Unit, which included an interview with the woman involved, it found there were no charges to answer.
“The panel was not satisfied that any South Sydney player engaged in any actionable misconduct resulting in a breach of their NRL playing contract, the NRL rules or the South Sydney’s code of conduct,” it said in a statement.
Burgess, a married father-of-one who played union for England at the 2015 Rugby World Cup before switching back to league, earlier this week spoke of the toll the scandal was taking on his pregnant wife.
“What hurts me the most is seeing my wife upset about what’s out there,” he said.
“It has been a tough process to go through. I’ve got great family, I’ve got great friends. It has been a tricky few days.”
The incident was another headache for the National Rugby League, which has spent years trying to change the sport’s reputation for bad behaviour after a long list of scandals.
It came hot on the heels of two Canterbury Bulldogs players being charged with obscene exposure earlier this month after drunken end-of-season celebrations.