The Canberra Raiders have sacked representative fullback Josh Dugan.
The club CEO Don Furner made the announcement on Thursday afternoon, but centre Blake Ferguson has been given a lifeline.
Dugan's contract has been terminated immediately while Ferguson has been given a $10,000 fine. Furner said it was unlikely the Raiders they would pay out the rest of the contract money that was due to Dugan in 2013.
The Raiders board on Thursday morning endorsed recommendations that Dugan's contract be terminated following a string of off-field incidents. Dugan was invited to attend this morning's board meeting to state his case, but did not show.
‘‘It was a unanimous decision,’’ Furner said of the board's decision.
‘‘We've made the decision and moved on.
‘‘The board resolved that there was no other alternative but to set him loose.
‘‘We are comfortable with the decision.’’
He has had no official contact with the club since Monday, when he and Ferguson skipped a recovery training session to go on a drinking binge. Although, Furner said he made contact with Dugan's manager George Mimis on Wednesday evening.
Dugan also failed to attend an official team photograph on Thursday afternoon. Ferguson was present, indicating he is likely to remain with the Raiders.
The Raiders board met for two and a half a hours at Canberra Stadium.
Neither Dugan nor Ferguson were sighted arriving or leaving the board meeting.
Raiders coach David Furner was one of the first to leave at 9am, leaving through another exit to avoid the media.
He was followed soon after by NRL chief executive David Smith and NRL chairman John Grant.
Both officials arrived in Canberra yesterday and were already scheduled to attend the board meeting before the latest off-field saga engulfed the club.
Dugan and Ferguson were suspended indefinitely earlier this week after they skipped training on Monday and later posted pictures on social media of themselves drinking on Ferguson's roof.