The spectacular rugby league career of Greg Inglis hangs in the balance after the Melbourne Storm star was charged with assaulting his girlfriend and then suspended by the club indefinitely on Monday.
Capping a horrendous year for NRL poster-boys, Inglis was arrested and charged for an alleged assault that reportedly left girlfriend Sally Robinson with a black eye.
Arguably the game's biggest talent and world's best player, Inglis joins a long list of NRL stars to have disgraced the game in 2009.
Inglis was made the face of the game's revamped A$1.5 million advertising campaign in March after the NRL dropped the commercial featuring Brett Stewart because the Manly fullback was charged with sexual assault.
Held in the highest regard by the NRL, Inglis was in July given the NRL's 'Good Guy of the Month' award for his work with the young.
He is the fifth NRL player charged with assaulting a female in 12 months, following Cronulla's Greg Bird and Sydney Roosters trio Anthony Cherrington, Jake Friend and Sandor Earl.
The Storm board met on Monday and swiftly decided to stand Inglis down indefinitely.
"The Melbourne Storm is vehemently opposed to any situation that in any way endangers the health, safety and wellbeing of any woman," club CEO Brian Waldron said in a statement.
"The club has taken a strong stance in the past towards behaviour of this type and will continue to do so in the future.
"As such this decision is made in the best interests of all parties concerned."
An NRL spokesperson said the peak body was waiting for more information on the matter.
"We are waiting for further details but there can be no justification for some things, Melbourne are treating the matter seriously and we are offering counselling services to both the woman involved and to Greg," the spokesperson said.
It is a significant blow to Melbourne's premiership campaign, as the Storm sit fourth on the NRL ladder with four weeks of the regular season remaining.
Inglis has been a crucial member of the Melbourne team that has reached the last three successive grand finals - winning the premiership and claiming the Clive Churchill medal in 2007.
He was awarded the Wally Lewis Medal as man of the series in Queensland's record fourth successive State of Origin series win earlier this year.
He is contracted to Melbourne until the end of 2012, after which he has raised the prospect of following Brisbane's Karmichael Hunt in a code switch to the AFL.
It is not the first time Inglis has had behaviour issues, the 22-year-old premiership winner warned by the club following multiple nightclub incidents last year.
He was involved in a scuffle at a Brisbane nightclub while the team contested the World Club Challenge final in February 2008.
Then in May last year he was allegedly involved in a drunken Good Friday brawl, but the club cleared him of wrongdoing saying it was a verbal altercation after his girlfriend was abused.
He had appeared to put his wayward ways behind him this year with study to become a social worker and a recent trip to his home town of Bowraville in NSW to speak to high school students about not going down the wrong track in life.
Sourced from: The New Zealand HeraldReuse content