Bulldogs sex scandal: Heads begin
to roll

The fallout from the Bulldogs sex scandal has begun, with the club?s football manager Garry Hughes shown the door last night.

The club also got tough on players over the way they dressed when being interviewed by police over sexual assault allegations levelled at a number of players by a young woman, handing out numerous fines.

The club?s board considered a range of penalties for players over their failure to observe appropriate dress codes, with some players fined up to $10,000.

Bulldogs Chairman, Dr George Peponis, says the club was extremely unhappy that players ignored the directive to wear appropriate clothing.

?Given the gravity of the allegations and the necessity for the Police to interview the players, the Club with the rest of the community, were offended by the players? appearance,? Dr Peponis said.

?On behalf of the Board and the players, I offer an apology to our sponsors, supporters and the public. I would also like to restate my commitment that the Bulldogs Club will ensure that it?s Code of Conduct and the expectations and proper standards of the community will be upheld in future.

?While the Board accepts the players? assurance that it was not their intention to offend the police or the public, the Board considered a significant financial penalty was warranted so as to underscore the Board and management?s commitment to the Club?s Code and the standards that the community has a right to expect.?

The sacking of Hughes comes after his failure to ensure players were adhering to the club?s Code of Conduct.

?I wish to inform you that the Club?s Football Manager, Garry Hughes has been dismissed from the Club for his failure to act in the interests of players and ensure that the Club?s code of conduct was enforced at all times,? Dr Peponis told the media last night.

Peponis said a complete investigation into how the club operates at all levels is underway.

?I can tell you we are now in the process of establishing a comprehensive review of player management, including educational and welfare programs, to ensure that players fully understand their obligations and responsibilities to the Club and - even more importantly - the wider community,? he said.

?The review will be coordinated and managed by an independent task force of community leaders and professionals and we expect to announce the details in the near future.?

Dr Peponis also re-instated his position in regards to commenting on the sexual assault allegations, which are ongoing.

?Unfortunately, I am legally constrained from commenting on the police investigation,? he said. ?However, I can tell you from my personal as well as the Club?s perspective that I deplore conduct that involves threats, intimidation, violence or victimisation of women. I have given my commitment that when the police investigation is concluded, any player involved in conduct that breaches our Code or has acted contrary to the high expectations of the Club and the community will be dealt with severely.?

Police this week re-interviewed the young woman at the centre of the allegations and asked her to identify the players involved in an NRL media book, which features photos of players from all clubs.

Garry Hughes has been part of the Bulldogs fraternity for a number of decades and the sex scandal ends a long-time association with the club.

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