Canberra winger Joel Monaghan has resigned over the incident that saw a picture of him performing a lewd act with a dog posted on the internet.
The picture, which was taken during the Raiders’ ‘Mad Monday’ post season celebrations, came to light on social networking site twitter.
Monaghan has made himself available to sign for a Super League club.
At a press conference yestetrday, Raiders CEO Don Furner said Monaghan had paid a “very high price” for his actions, but was still welcome at the club.
“He’s had to pay a very high price for a party prank at someone’s house,” Furner said.
“I can assure everyone here we don’t know who took the photo. If it was one of our players there is no way in the world they would want this to happen to Joel and there’s no way one of our players would have uploaded this to a website.”
“Joel is welcome back at this club and I hope he is welcomed back one day and he’s welcomed back to Canberra, because he’s done a lot of good in this city, he’s a local boy who represented Australian Schoolboys from here as well as NSW and Australia,” Furner said.
A shattered Monaghan said in a statement he had contacted the club’s major sponsors to apologise.
He said: “I’ve learnt in the last week that always being the life of the party can cause a lot of anguish and that some actions can’t be taken back and they have damaged a lot of people.
“There are no hard feelings or grudges towards anyone else. They were my actions and I am solely responsible for the prank that has caused so much pain.
“Alcohol is no excuse and I should have thought before I acted and would love more than anything to take it back, but I can’t.
“I would like to thank my team mates, coaching staff and loyal fans and am truly sorry for my actions. I would especially like to thank Campo.
NRL Chief Executive David Gallop said no further action was required and described the incident and Monaghan’s subsequent resignation as a sad affair for all concerned.
“Joel has today paid a heavy price in standing down from the Raiders and I think people are entitled to acknowledge both his contrition and the way he has handled things over the last couple of days,” Mr Gallop said.
“It is a poignant reminder though that people need to think before they act, even when it is seemingly done in jest.”