The Gold Coast Titans Board met with Kevin Proctor early this morning to consider sanctions to be imposed in the aftermath of last weekend’s Australia vs New Zealand Test Match in Canberra.
Kevin was provided with the opportunity to explain his actions and make submissions to the Board in relation to penalty.
The Board also took the opportunity to make it very clear to Kevin that although he has already suffered personally from sanctions handed down by the New Zealand Rugby League, the additional Board sanctions to be imposed must reflect the history of this club, his leadership role as co-captain, and the collateral reputational damage the club has suffered even though the incident did not occur whilst he was representing the Titans.
After lengthy deliberations, the Board decided to impose the following sanctions:
• Continued exclusion as co-captain until further notice
• Four-match suspension from playing
• Fine of $20,000 (none suspended)
• 50 hours of community service (drug and alcohol prevention)
The Board acknowledged that while these sanctions may be viewed by some as harsh, particularly when combined with the Kiwis World Cup exclusion, the overriding view of the Board is there must be a very strong message sent that any form of illicit drug use is unacceptable and has to be driven out of the game.
“The Board has taken a strong stance with Kevin despite his four-match suspension potentially damaging the club’s prospects over the coming month as we seek to remain in finals contention. He has also let his teammates down, and seriously disappointed our members and commercial partners,” Chief Executive Officer, Graham Annesley, said today.
“Of course, as a football club our priority is to win as many games as possible, but if we all have to suffer some pain in order to drive the message home, then so be it. We take our responsibility to the community seriously and we will not walk away from tough decisions just to increase our chances of on-field success.
“I am pleased to say Kevin has shown tremendous remorse since we first spoke with him last Sunday. Once again today he faced up to the consequences of his actions and accepted full responsibility. He also accepted the penalty handed down with good grace and apologised to the Board for everything he has put the club through in recent days”, Annesley concluded.
The very firm message to emerge from today’s hearing and outcome is the Titans Board is fully prepared to take tougher and tougher action against any player who commits drug related offences in the future. Hopefully this will not be necessary as there will be no further indiscretions.