NRL bans Eels’ Norman for eight weeks

Parramatta star Corey Norman’s NRL season is over after being suspended for eight weeks over his drug possession conviction and sex tape scandal.

The NRL on Thursday rubbed Norman out until the end of round 26 and fined him $20,000 over his recent run of bad behaviour.

The governing body took a hardline stance after the playmaker had attracted a string of damaging headlines, including pleading guilty after being caught in May with MDMA and muscle relaxants at The Star casino.

On the same night, he was photographed alongside housemate James Segeyaro and former teammate Junior Paulo dining with bikies and all three were subsequently warned by police about consorting with criminals.

He was also embroiled in a sex tape scandal after a group attempted to sell to the media footage showing Norman performing a sexual act on a woman.

The video was made with Norman’s consent and was sent to friends and teammates.

He was also punished after sending a video to teammates via Snapchat of an elderly man snorting a white substance, believed to be cocaine.

“The message is clear, players cannot put themselves in a position where they may damage their own reputations and that of the game,” head of the NRL integrity unit Nick Weeks said.

“We have been consistent this year in imposing strong penalties where players bring the game into disrepute through actions off the field.

“Whether it is drug possession, criminal associations or social media use, players understand the consequences that can flow from illegal or other unacceptable conduct.”

The group selling the Norman sex tape had asked for $150,000, however Weeks said Norman was not a victim in this instance because he had knowingly distributed the video.

“While it is a regrettable trend in society for people to look to sell footage of sports’ stars in their private lives, there is an easy solution for our players – do not engage in activity which will damage their reputation or that of the game,” Weeks said.

Norman was tentatively stood down for one match by the Eels but the NRL demanded he sit out eight weeks.

Norman’s suspension is in line with the eight-week ban handed to Sydney Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce after his Australia Day video scandal.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson earlier this week lashed the NRL for not doing enough to snuff out the trend of third parties attempting to film players for profit.

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