Australian Rugby League Commission chairman John Grant has described as "serious" the alleged verbal abuse of a female television reporter during the Canterbury Bulldogs' Mad Monday celebrations, indicating the player or players responsible are likely to face sanction.
Grant, the game's highest official in Australia, said he had been made aware of footage that depicted obscene comments being made from within Belmore Sports Ground towards a Channel Nine journalist yesterday.
"Based on what I've heard, there is no doubt this is potentially a serious issue," he said.
"The process that we'll now go through is for the club to determine what actually happened, for the club to prepare their own report with their own recommendation. That will then come to us and we'll have a conversation with them about it."
Asked whether the player or players responsible could be sacked, he said: "I think you have to wait until we actually find out all the facts. But I just repeat, based on my understanding of what's gone on, it's serious."
Bulldogs officials are investigating the allegations.
Channel Nine reporter Jayne Azzopardi contacted Canterbury chief executive Todd Greenberg after the alleged abuse, which included sexist remarks, and he spoke to the commission.
Some of the comments, made through a slightly opened window, were aired on last night's Channel Nine news.
They allegedly included:
* "There are some ladies here to stick their heads in your pants";
* "Suck me off you dumb dog"; and
* "I want to go and punch you in the face."
Azzopardi is usually a court reporter for Channel Nine but covered the Mad Monday celebrations after the Bulldogs' 14-4 loss to Melbourne in Sunday night's grand final.
Greenberg told Fairfax he had apologised to Azzopardi and was investigating who was responsible for the comments.