The Brisbane Broncos have been cleared by Queensland Police after authorities concluded their investigation into a pub lunch players had on the weekend.
The Broncos made headlines again this week for their most recent controversy, a visit by a number of players to Everton Park Hotel.
The club acknowledged that players ate at the suburban pub but argued that there was no wrongdoing under “more-relaxed Project Apollo Queensland restrictions”. However reports emerged alleging pokies were also used in the potential breach of COVID-19 guidelines set out by the Queensland government and by the NRL.
Police investigating Broncos breach
On Thursday, Queensland police found that there was no breach of health directions.
“The National Rugby League (NRL) notes Queensland Police have today confirmed that Brisbane Broncos players have not breached the government’s public health directions after attending a Brisbane Hotel on August 1,” the NRL confirmed in a statement.
“Apollo Protocol experts have determined that players who attended the venue will not be required to enter a “COVID Hold” and can continue to train and play while the NRL investigation continues.
“As a matter of high caution, all players who attended the venue will undergo a COVID-19 test.”
While it is some rare good news for the Broncos in what has been a nightmare season filled with COVID-19 bubble breaches, off-field scandals, uncertainty over the future of coach Anthony Seibold at the club and persistent poor form seeing them languishing at the bottom of the NRL ladder, the league could still come down on them with a punishment of their own.
The NRL are yet to conclude their investigation into the incident and if they find that there was a breach in their biosecurity agreement with Queensland Health, further sanctions could still follow.
“The NRL Integrity Unit is continuing to investigate the actions of players at the Hotel and has been collecting and examining all available evidence,” the league’s statement continued.
Acting NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo said Queensland authorities were working together to assist the Integrity Unit’s probe.
“We are conducting a detailed investigation to ensure we have all available evidence before determining the need for sanctions. It is important we have all the facts and evidence before making a decision,” Abdo said.
“Right from the start of this pandemic we have made it clear if protocols are breached players and officials will face strong sanctions. Our actions in recent days have confirmed that.
“Our biosecurity experts have determined the players will not be required to enter a COVID-19 Hold.”