Chiefs cautioned in stripper saga

Formal cautions have been issued to all Chiefs players after an investigation into a post-season party where a stripper alleged that she was sexually assaulted.

Although the investigation cleared the players of sexual assault, New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said the decisions behind the post-season celebrations were a black mark on rugby and on the Chiefs.

'While the investigation concludes that the balance of the evidence, based largely on independent witnesses, strongly supports a finding that the alleged sexual assault did not take place as reported in the media, we are far from satisfied that players should not bear some culpability for the harm done to the game, to the Chiefs brand, and to their families.

'The whole incident has been incredibly disturbing and it is clear that poor decision-making on a number of fronts has led to these players and the Chiefs’ management putting themselves in a position of vulnerability.

'The investigation was never about the women at the centre of these allegations. Our microscope was very much on the players, their conduct and that of the management structure behind them. We have high expectations of all our players and staff, that when they enter this environment, there are many benefits, but the job also comes with responsibilities.

'They did not meet those expectations, and as a result, today we have issued formal cautions to all Chiefs players, with every player receiving a letter setting out our disappointment, and their responsibilities in a professional environment.'

Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

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Craig Lewis