Former Sydney Roosters co-captain Mitchell Pearce has been slapped with a $125,000 fine – $50,000 of it suspended – and banned from playing in the NRL for eight weeks following a drunken incident on Australia Day.
The penalty is the biggest fine ever handed out by the league.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports his club was hoping for a three to four week ban and a fine of $200,000. The NRL wanted him sidelined for 10-12 weeks.
Following negioations, and taking the suspended fine into consideration, Pearce walks away with a $75,000 fine and will remain on the bench until round nine.
The fullback recently returned from a month at a rehabilitation clinic in northern Thailand. Pearce said he will abstain from drinking alcohol in the future.
Last month, a heavily intoxicated Pearce was filmed simulating sex with a dog.
The club is now looking into whether charges against the person who filmed the incident, which was in a private home, can be made.
Following the controversy NSW Blues coach Laurie Daley said Pearce would still be considered a contender for the State of Origin this year.
The SMH has more.