Rugby authorities act over Howe of Fife 'initiation' ceremony

image copyrightGoogle
image captionThe club is based at Duffus Park in Cupar

Scottish Rugby has imposed sanctions on 14 players and two officials after investigating an "initiation ceremony" at a Fife club.

Publishing the measures taken, the sports body said it followed an incident on a team bus last season.

Although no details have been released, a player is reported to have suffered internal injuries during the incident.

In a statement, Scottish Rugby said that "the actions of those involved have absolutely no place in our sport".

The former head coach and former president at Howe of Fife, based in Cupar, have each been suspended from any involvement in rugby for a year.

They were said to have failed to exercise "reasonable and proper control" over the players under their supervision.

Two players at the club have been suspended from playing for two seasons for their part in the incident.

'Change of culture'

Twelve other players have been given shorter bans, of between six and eight weeks.

Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson said: "The behaviour of those involved in this incident, including several individuals in positions of authority at the club, was completely unacceptable.

"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."

image captionThe club's website carries a code of standards agreed earlier this year

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