Press Release RE Tim Simona
Fri, 10 Mar 2017
The RLPA shares the NRL's commitment to protecting the integrity of the Game.
Players are willing to take responsibility for their behaviour and be held accountable for their actions.
Tim's conduct was unacceptable and a strong stance is warranted. There is no question about that. Tim, his Accredited Player Agent and the RLPA are all supportive of the sanction reflecting the conduct in question. It was inevitable that Tim would be de-registered as a result of his conduct but we need to make it clear that this is not a life ban. We trust that Tim will be given the opportunity to rehabilitate himself and demonstrate a consistent pattern of reformed behaviour over coming years that can warrant him being re-registered to be involved in the NRL again if appropriate. Whether or not Tim takes that opportunity is up to him. He may not. But we believe that possibility should be provided to him if he demonstrates commitment to genuine reform and rehabilitation.
Based on all the circumstances, we believe this approach is appropriate, particularly given there is no evidence that Tim altered his performance and when comparing his conduct to other serious misconduct and/or corruption cases in sport locally and across the globe.
These cases are challenging for all involved. Unfortunately, the Game has faced several issues in recent times which have the ability to undermine the public confidence in the on-field performance, as well as the competitive balance and uncertainty of the result that are crucial elements in the success of the NRL competition. However, we believe it is important in such circumstances to make sure we remain objective and implement penalties that are reasonable and proportionate to the conduct in question, as well as considering the impact of the decision on the individual's livelihood and life in general, and understanding the consequences for the Game and how matters may be handled in the future.
The RLPA will continue to support Tim from a wellbeing perspective and seek to continue discussing the management of integrity matters through our CBA negotiations with the NRL.