Dylan Walker released by Souths

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Dylan Walker released by Souths

South Sydney centre Dylan Walker has been released by the club after he and Aaron Gray were fined for their prescription drug scandal.

Walker’s lawyer Julieanne Levick told AAP that Walker had been let go by the Rabbitohs after they concluded their investigation into the incident.

Souths later confirmed his release.

In a statement, Levick savaged the Rabbitohs in light of the former Test centre’s punishment, claiming that he had been treated “like a piece of meat”.

“The board has come to the conclusion that Walker has abused prescription medication in the absence of any expert opinion,” she said.

“This is such an unsatisfactory outcome in any view especially considering how this kid has been treated like a piece of meat in the face of serious injury throughout the 2015 season.

“He has been sucked in, chewed out and well and truly spat out.

“Walker has got a release that his counsel was pushing for but at a totally unacceptable price, that being his reputation.”

Walker has been heavily linked with a move to Manly where he is expected to take over as five-eighth from Parramatta-bound Kieran Foran.

The club announced earlier on Thursday that the pair had been fined five per cent of their 2015 contract value.

In a statement Souths said that Walker and Gray would also be required to serve 20 hours of community service and attend education sessions on how to better use medicines after the club concluded its investigation into the incident.

A further fine of five per cent of their contract values has been suspended pending the completion of the above.

But given Walker has been released that would seem a moot point for the Australian representative.

After the duo fronted the Souths’ board earlier this month, the club finalised a report into the incident this week in conjunction with the NRL integrity unit.

“… By their actions and their consequent hospitalisation, the players had brought the club and the NRL into serious disrepute,” the Souths statement read.

The 2014 premiers said there was no evidence that either player had illicit drugs or alcohol in their system.

However, “both players had nonetheless sourced additional pain-killing medication from their own GPs on the day of the incident, clearly beyond that which was prescribed by their specialists following their respective surgeries”.

Walker and Gray were rushed to hospital in the early hours of September 22 after suffering drug overdoses. They were released from hospital three days later.

The incident has resulted in the Rabbitohs strengthening their medications policy and their code of conduct and to increase player education on the dangers of prescription medicine, the club said.

Chief executive John Lee said the Rabbitohs had moved to ensure there would not be a repeat of the incident.

“We will work closely with all of our players to ensure an incident like this doesn’t happen again,” Lee said in the statement.

“It was harrowing for the players’ families, friends and clubmates; and it impacted the reputation of our club.”

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