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Scottish Rugby has handed out a total of 347 weeks of suspensions to 14 players, a coach and an an official at a Fife club over a disgusting initiation ceremony which is understood to have left one player with internal injuries.
The bans are believed to be the heaviest in the history of the game, and among the toughest ever imposed anywhere in the sport. Charges of sexual assault were initially brought over the Howe of Fife incident, which occurred on board the team bus in September last year.
The SRU has refused to comment on reports that the incident involved a bottle being shoved up the victim’s you know what. Two officials each received bans of 54 weeks “from any involvement in rugby coaching, officiating or administration” for “failing to exercise reasonable and proper control over the players under their supervision”.
Garry Horne, the club’s former head coach and father of Scotland international Peter, was banned for a year, as was former president Murdo Fraser. The longest bans were handed down to two Howe players, who each received a ban of 84 weeks.
“The behaviour of those involved in this incident, including several individuals in positions of authority at the club, was completely unacceptable,” said Scottish Rugby’s chief executive Mark Dodson.
“Scottish Rugby has been proactive to ensure a full, independent disciplinary process was conducted and that measures are put in place to deliver a change of culture at the club.
“The actions of those involved have absolutely no place in our sport. Significant sanctions have been applied in this matter and Scottish Rugby will not hesitate to take action against any club, official or player behaving in a similarly unacceptable manner.”
You can read the full story by The Irish Independent here.