Indecent contact in SWDFNL netball scandal

A DISTRICT league netballer has been given a two-week suspended sentence following allegations she made indecent contact up an opponent’s skirt.

The South West District Football Netball League (SWDFNL) has refused to name any of the parties involved or the circumstances surrounding the sensational case, which was heard last Thursday.

The Standard can reveal that the player was accused of sticking her finger up an opponent’s skirt several times and making inappropriate contact with her behind and crotch area.

Witnesses reported seeing the victim crying after the round 12 match, which was held on July 2.

The accused player denied the allegations but she was found guilty of a gross breach of code of behaviour and handed a two-week suspended sentence, to remain until the end of the 2012 season.

The league has declined to name who was involved because it wants to protect the offending player and has struck arrangements with the clubs not to comment on the incident.

“We are following our bylaws and the Netball Victoria regulations, which is why it went to the tribunal,” SWDFNL netball president Nikki Hudson said.

“We told the players involved that as a league, we didn’t want to discuss the person involved or names or anything like that.”

When contacted by The Standard yesterday, representatives of both clubs involved did not want to discuss details about the case.

The netball co-ordinator of the offending player’s club said that she had been told by her club that she was not to say anything about the incident.

However she rejected claims that the player had inserted her finger into an opponent.

The player’s club president was less forthcoming.

“I don’t want to make any comment,” he said about the hearing.

“I don’t know anything about it.”

The netball manager of the victim’s club said that the club was told by the league that it was not allowed to comment about the incident.

It was the first SWDFNL netball tribunal in its history.

The disturbing case draws similar comparisons to the infamous national rugby league incident involving Wests Tigers winger John Hopoate.

In 2001, Hopoate was found guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct when he inserted his finger in three opponents’ anuses.

At the time Hopoate claimed he was trying to give the players a wedgie.

He was suspended for 12 matches.

kbutler@standard.fairfax.com.au

mrooth@standard.fairfax.com.au

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