Beale fined and free to play for Wallabies on tour

Wallabies backliner Kurtley Beale has been fined $45,000 by the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and has avoided suspension and is eligible to play for his country on tour next month.

Beale has avoided having his contract terminated by the ARU and after a four hour hearing at the ARU headquarters in Sydney he was found guilty of a serious violation of the ARU code of conduct.

The Wallabies back was fined for sending an offensive photograph to an ARU employee which he admitted to doing on the 9th of June but the tribunal ruled that the evidence could not be established that Beale sent a second more offensive text and photo.

The tribunal found that while serious violation had occurred, mitigating factors were taken into account to determine an appropriate sanction for the Waratahs Super Rugby title winner.

This included the fact that Beale has already been suspended for two Test matches and the unpleasant consequences the matter had created for the ARU employee and Beale himself.

Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver said that the tribunal’s findings and sanction would be accepted.

“This was a serious allegation and, like any business, when we received that complaint, we were compelled to investigate it and give Kurtley Beale an opportunity to present his case in relation to the matter in an independent forum,” said Pulver

“We have obligations to our fans and the broader community and we are committed to ensuring any behaviour that has the potential to breach our code of conduct or values is investigated and taken seriously.

“This was deemed a serious violation by the tribunal and, as such, we intend to donate the $45,000 collected through this fine to a suitable organisation that promotes the empowerment of women.

“Negotiations regarding Kurtley’s contract beyond this year have been on hold in recent weeks. As a result of the independent tribunal’s decision, we will re-open those contract discussions.”

Rugby Union Players’ Association CEO Greg Harris said that the outcome of the
tribunal was a positive one.

“It was a positive outcome that the Tribunal found that the more offensive
text and photograph had not been sent by Kurtley,” said Rugby Union Players’
Association CEO Greg Harris.

“We are pleased that Kurtley having shown remorse and incurred the penalty
will now be in a position to continue his Rugby career.”

Following the Tribunal’s decision, Beale apologised for breaching the
Code of Conduct.

“I am satisfied with tonight’s outcome. There was conjecture about
my contract being terminated, however the Tribunal agreed that on the basis
of the evidence that a fine was appropriate,” Mr Beale said.

“I’m relieved there is no termination and no suspension and I can
now continue playing Rugby.

“I’m also happy the evidence presented to the Tribunal did not
establish that I sent the second text and photograph. This is why I fought so
hard to prove my innocence regarding that text.”

“I’d like to apologise to Di Patston and the broader community
for my behaviour, particularly to Rugby fans.

“I have had a fair hearing tonight and will work to re-gain the respect
of my team mates, fans and the general Australian community.

“I am extremely proud to represent my country, and I will work hard to
ensure my behaviour reflects the honour and privilege of playing for Australia
at all times, on and off the field.”

The decision means Kurtley Beale will be eligible for selection for the Wallabies,
effective immediately.

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