The NRL has suspended Penrith Panthers star Nathan Cleary for two matches for his refusal to co-operate with the NRL Integrity Unit over a social distancing breach.
Cleary was also hit with a $30,000 fine to go along with his suspension, and he wasn’t the only Panthers player to be hit hard by the league.
Teammate Tyrone May has also been hit with a breach notice for his lack of co-operation with the NRL, with the league proposing a $15,000 fine and a two-match suspension.
“The notices allege that the players were untruthful in relation to material matters and the proposed sanctions reflect the seriousness of those allegations,” the NRL said in a statement on Monday night.
“Both Players will now have an opportunity to respond to the matters alleged in Breach Notices before a final determination is made.”
Cleary was heavily scrutinised after photos leaked of him with several women in his house on Anzac Day, and initially stated that the women had only been at his house for under 10 minutes while waiting for an Uber.
However, Cleary’s cover-up was exposed the next day when a pair of videos showing the NRL star dancing with up to five women were uploaded to social media platform TikTok.
The 22-year-old was initially fined $10,000 ($6000 suspended) for breaching social distancing as well as a one match-ban suspended for the remainder of the 2020 season.
Both Cleary and May will serve their suspensions once the NRL season resumes on May 28.
The additional sanctions to Cleary come after Panthers teammate James Tamou noted that the star halfback had been withdrawn since the entire social distancing scandal.
“Obviously he’s pretty quiet, he’s just very remorseful for what he’s done,” Tamou said.
“He’s trying to do his best just to put his head down and do his work.
“Obviously the NRL is still handling all that stuff and I wouldn’t know what to say until it’s all done and finished.”