SYDNEY – Wallabies star Kurtley Beale has apologised and been reprimanded after being caught laughing at a man snorting white powder in a video circulated on social media.
The Australian playmaker was seen in the clip with rugby league star Corey Norman in a luxury hotel room, while an older man sniffed the substance off a plate.
Beale was seen laughing after the incident in the video, which was taken in 2016, but only became public this week.
“Rugby Australia only became aware of the vision after it had surfaced on social media on Monday afternoon, and understands that it was recorded in 2016,” Rugby Australia chief Raelene Castle said in a statement late on Tuesday.
“After becoming aware that the vision was being shared on social media, Kurtley contacted me to apologise for the negative attention the video had attracted and expressed regret at putting himself in a compromising position at that time.”
Castle said Beale met on Tuesday with Rugby Australia’s Integrity Unit to provide his version of events and was reminded of the high standards expected of him.
“Kurtley acknowledges that his presence in the video and the humour he expressed at the incident at the time does not reflect the image that is expected of a professional rugby player,” she added.
The video was taken when Norman played for the Parramatta Els. His current club, St George Illawarra Dragons, said it too only became aware of the vision recently.
“The Dragons informed the NRL Integrity Unit on Monday afternoon. The Integrity Unit have since confirmed they have previously been made aware of the footage and dealt with it accordingly at the time,” it said.
No further details were provided.
Beale was also in trouble last year when he was axed from the Wallabies team after he and fellow veteran Adam Ashley-Cooper allowed women – known to the pair – into their Cardiff hotel following Australia’s 9-6 defeat by Wales in November.
At the time, Castle said while she felt some sympathy for the two players, the correct steps were taken to reprimand them.AFP