SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia’s rugby league bosses have told the Canberra Raiders they expected “appropriate” action to be taken against Joel Monaghan after a photograph of the player simulating a sex act with a dog was posted on the internet.
The picture of the former Australia winger, taken at the team’s end of season party, was posted on a social networking site Thursday and Monaghan issued a statement through his manager apologising for a “moment of sheer madness.”
“Joel can’t blame anyone but himself for an act of stupidity that will haunt him for the rest of his life,” manager Jim Banaghan said. “There are no words of explanation that can be offered because none can be appropriate.
“It was a moment of abject stupidity brought about by too much drink and a complete lack of any thought process.
“He apologises unreservedly for the outrage that people feel at the moment and blames nobody but himself.”
Local media have speculated that Monaghan, who said he was not in a “fit emotional state” to discuss the issue with club officials, could have his contract cancelled.
The governing National Rugby League (NRL) made it clear it would be watching the Raiders’ disciplinary process.
“The National Rugby League (NRL) has today warned the Canberra club that it will closely monitor any disciplinary action taken against Raiders player Joel Monaghan,” NRL Chief Executive David Gallop said in a statement.
“This is an appalling incident and one that has offended everyone associated with the sport ... it is important that the club deals with it appropriately and that it reports to the NRL as soon as possible on the outcomes.”
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, Editing by Greg Stutchbury