LIVE

    Probe dismisses Chiefs sex abuse claims

    2016-09-07 07:18

    Wellington - An investigation into allegations a stripper was sexually assaulted at a Chiefs' function has cleared the players, but their conduct remains a "black mark", New Zealand Rugby (NZR) said on Wednesday.

    NZR chief Steve Tew welcomed the findings but said the fact that the Super Rugby players thought it was appropriate to hire a stripper in the first place had left his organisation "deeply embarrassed".

    A stripper, known as Scarlette, alleged last month that she was abused at Chiefs' end-of-season party, which was held in a rural pub in the North Island.

    She alleged players aggressively crowded around her, touching her inappropriately and pouring alcohol on her, before refusing to pay her fully.

    Tew said the claims were "alarming" and an NZR lawyer launched a comprehensive investigation, including interviewing nine independent witnesses who were at the venue but not part of the Chiefs' group.

    He said no witnesses confirmed the woman's story, although they reported the players were raucous and noisy during the performance.

    "Our investigation has found that the allegations made publicly have not been substantiated by witness accounts," he said, also noting that police had not received any complaints and were taking no action.

    "As such, we will not take action against any individual players."

    Instead, he said the entire Chiefs playing group, including individuals who were not there on the night, had been issued with a collective caution.

    "We are far from satisfied... this leaves a black mark on rugby and on the Chiefs in particular," Tew said.

    "We are deeply embarrassed to be dealing with this matter and we've made our views clear to the Chiefs and to the players."

    Wild end-of-season partying by players has become known as "Mad Monday" and All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said last month that the practice should be stopped.

    Tew said such events should be strictly supervised, rather than banned outright, arguing: "If we drive it underground, we're likely to get worse behaviour."

    He said hiring strippers for player parties was highly inappropriate and would never be condoned.

    The Chiefs issued an apology on behalf of the players and chief executive Andrew Flexman confirmed two sponsors had withdrawn their support over the scandal.

    The stripper Scarlette, whose identity has not been publicly released, questioned the findings.

    "I am disappointed but not surprised at the outcome of the NZR's internal investigation," she said in a statement to commercial radio.

    Read More On:  chiefs super rugby rugby

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk

    Fixtures

    Friday, 27 April 2018
    • Hurricanes v Sunwolves, Westpac Stadium 09:35
    • Stormers v Rebels, Cape Town 15:05
    Saturday, 28 April 2018
    • Reds v Lions, Suncorp Stadium 07:05
    • Blues v Jaguares, Eden Park 09:35
    • Brumbies v Crusaders, GIO Stadium 11:45
    • Bulls v Highlanders, Loftus Versfeld 17:15
    Friday, 04 May 2018
    • Chiefs v Jaguares, Rotorua International Stadium 09:35
    • Rebels v Crusaders, AAMI Park 11:45

    Results

    22 April 2018
    21 April 2018
    20 April 2018
    14 April 2018
    13 April 2018
    07 April 2018
    06 April 2018
    01 April 2018
    31 March 2018
    30 March 2018
    24 March 2018
    23 March 2018
    18 March 2018
    17 March 2018
    16 March 2018
    10 March 2018
    09 March 2018
    03 March 2018
    02 March 2018
    24 February 2018
    23 February 2018
    17 February 2018

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Who will finish top of the SA Conference in this year's Super Rugby tournament?

    Can you name the top Super Rugby tryscorers of all-time?

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.