Storm slapped with record $50,000 fine - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm slapped with record $50,000 fine

27/09/2008 02:41:27 PM Comments (0)

The NRL on Saturday imposed a record $50,000 fine on the Melbourne Storm for comments made by coach Craig Bellamy and chief executive Brian Waldron following their team's 28-0 preliminary final win over Cronulla on Friday night.

NRL chief executive David Gallop described the remarks by Bellamy and Waldron as "an unprecedented premeditated attack on the NRL and its judiciary system."

"The accusations that they made were irrational, baseless and at times bordered on hysterical.

"Those accusations attack the integrity of the NRL and its judiciary system and for that reason on Monday they will receive a breach notice for the sum of $50,000."

The fine is a NRL record amount handed out to a club for commenting on the game.

Bellamy unleashed a scathing attack on the code's administration over their handling of Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith's grapple tackle suspension.

"I don't think Cameron Smith got a fair go," Bellamy said in his post match press conference.

"Cameron Smith, ten minutes after the game last week, was hung out to dry.

"The press conference ... got hijacked by some of you guys in the media that had him hung out to dry straight away and then it continued for four or five days."

"There's some sections of the media that seem to have an agenda against Melbourne and certainly the grapple tackle.

"It's my player that misses out on a grand final opportunity and I think he's been hard done by here."

While Bellamy later backed down from some of his controversial comments, he remained adamant Smith had not received a fair go.

"The other thing that was very smelly about the whole lot was when I saw in the paper on Wednesday morning and there's a betting market - $1.18 he's going to be found guilty, $4.25 he'll be found innocent.

"That's a fair spread in a two horse race.

"Bookmakers and betting agencies, they don't guess, they've got good information - take that as you may.

"As soon as I saw that on Wednesday morning ... he was thousands."

Waldron was critical of the system which allowed Sharks coach Ricky Stuart to make comments about Smith's tackle on Brisbane forward Sam Thaiday, as he was adamant those words influenced the judiciary.

"Opposition coaches, opposition officials, other officials in positions of responsibility of the game should not be commenting before the judiciary," Waldron said.

"It doesn't happen in other sports ... it questions the integrity of our game at the core and we need some leadership to fix it.

"To allow Ricky Stuart to make those comments is an absolute disgrace and a blight on the game and we need to address that."

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