After the NRL's deregistration of Tim Simona the West Tigers have backed the NRL and released the following statement.
WEST TIGERS STATEMENT
The Club has been working with the NRL during their investigation and support the process.
Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe said that the Club is incredibly disappointed in the actions of Simona and agree with the NRL’s decision.
“I fully support the comments of Todd Greenberg that the integrity of the game must be upheld above all else,” said Pascoe. “I believe it’s a privilege to work in this game and it’s the responsibility of everyone involved to uphold its integrity.
“As a Club we pride ourselves on our standards of behaviour and after discussions with the NRL, I’m 100 percent confident that this is isolated to Tim Simona.
“At Wests Tigers we are very proud of our position in the community,” he said. “We will not allow the actions of an individual player to jeopardise what this Club stands for and represents.
“It will continue to be our responsibility to ensure that Simona receives the welfare support that he needs,” he said.
The Club will be making no further comment on this matter.
NRL STATEMENT Earlier
The NRL said today it has terminated the registration of Wests Tigers player Tim Simona.
CEO Todd Greenberg said an Integrity Unit investigation found that Simona had:
- Breached the NRL rules by betting on Rugby League matches
- Bet on opposition players scoring – and against his team winning
- Sold Rugby League jerseys through online auctions without passing on the full proceeds to the nominated charities
- Been untruthful in his interviews with the Integrity Unit
The Integrity Unit was also presented with other information, relating to his interaction with a third party, which has been considered.
Mr Greenberg said Simona clearly had serious personal issues, was remorseful and it was sad that an elite athlete had thrown away the opportunities presented to him.
He said the game would continue to offer him welfare services and monitor his wellbeing.
But Mr Greenberg said the breaches were at the high end of the integrity scale and the NRL had no alternative but to deregister him.
“Based on the evidence we have identified it is very hard to imagine that Tim Simona will be registered with the NRL at any time in the future,” Mr Greenberg said.
“There is nothing more important than the integrity of our game.
“Our fans have a right to expect that every player on every team is doing his best to win each game and we will be relentless in dealing with anyone who attempts to breach this trust.
Mr Greenberg said Simona made it clear in text messages that he not only knew he was breaking the rules in relation to betting on games – but he knew the consequences as well.
“At the end of the day he has deliberately flouted the laws of the game for his own gain and there is no place for him in the NRL.
“This is a warning to everyone in our game that if you try to meddle with the integrity of the game you will be caught and the consequences will be harsh.”