Former South Sydney chief executive Shane Richardson says he did not cover up the club’s pre-season incident involving axed captain John Sutton and former Rabbitoh Luke Burgess.
Sutton, who has since been stripped of the captaincy, and Burgess, who signed with Manly last month, were disciplined and fined by the club following an incident of “disorderly behaviour” in November involving the pair during the club’s pre-season training camp in Arizona.
Richardson, who starts a new role as the NRL’s head of game strategy and development in March, insists he did not attempt to cover anything up.
While charges were initially laid, they were withdrawn, and Richardson says the NRL was informed on all developments.
“There was no cover up in any way shape or form,” he told Fairfax Media.
“The fact we didn’t unleash it to the media was because it was a breach of a code of conduct.
“The club made the decision.
“The board, the NRL’s integrity unit, the coaching staff, the players, their managers were all told when the breaches went out.”
Sutton was last month replaced by star fullback Greg Inglis as the club’s captain, a decision Richardson said was unrelated to his code of conduct breach in the US.
Meanwhile, the NRL has reportedly asked the Rabbitohs to remove footage of centre Kirisome Auva’a, currently suspended after pleading guilty to domestic violence charges last year, from their membership video which aired during last week’s Charity Shield.