South Sydney star Sam Burgess has been cleared of any wrongdoing over the lewd photo scandal after the NRL club completed its investigations on Friday.
The club said no player had broken club or NRL rules after a complaint was made by a woman alleging Rabbitohs players exposed themselves to her on Facebook in May.
The woman was interviewed by NRL integrity unit investigator Karyn Murphy but declined to be quizzed by a five-person panel set up by the club last Friday.
“Based on a thorough review of the available evidence before it, 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 SSFC code of conduct,” the club said in a statement.
A spokesman for the NRL said that, based on the information available, the NRL was satisfied with the position the panel has reached with respect to the allegations against players.
“If any additional information emerges it will be considered,” the spokesman said.
It was widely reported that it was Burgess’ social media account that was used to communicate with the woman.
Two players were believed to have exposed themselves to the woman, who complained to the club via an anonymous email over a period of three months between May and August.
The matter rocked the league last week when News Corp Australia published the images, and named Burgess as the owner of the social media account.
The incident overshadowed the Rabbitohs’ semi-final win over St George Illawarra, and dominated headlines ahead of Saturday’s grand final qualifier against the Sydney Roosters.
An emotional Burgess also fronted the media this week, where he thanked his wife and family for their support and said he was “happy for the truth to come out”.
The panel included ARL Commissioner Lea Drake, club chairman Nick Pappas, club staffer Emily Grant, chief executive Blake Solly, and Murphy.