Wayne Bennett is reportedly in hot water with the NRL Integrity Unit after he didn’t divulge his knowledge of the Cody Walker video.
The South Sydney star was filmed in a Casino street brawl in December in which he can be seen kicking a man in the chest.
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The bizarre video was posted on social media earlier this week after Walker reported an alleged extortion attempt over the footage to NSW Police.
Walker claimed his manager Matt Rose received a phone call on Saturday demanding $20,000 or video of the fight would be sold to media.
Shocking footage at the centre of a sensational $20,000 blackmail claim shows shirtless South Sydney star Cody Walker karate kicking a man in the chest https://t.co/y2Vmw1qM5F pic.twitter.com/oOA2rltVwS— Telegraph Sport (@telegraph_sport) May 18, 2020
While he has escaped a charge from NSW Police, Walker is in danger of being sidelined by the NRL ahead of round three.
The NRL's integrity unit was only informed of the December incident this week, and it’s now been reported that Walker’s coach Bennett knew about it much earlier.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Integrity Unit is considering handing Bennett a fine for failing to divulge his knowledge of the video.
Bennett reportedly argued his knowledge of it was ‘immaterial’ because no complaint had been made.
But clubs are generally expected to report their knowledge of incidents to the Integrity Unit straight away, regardless of the seriousness.
NRL investigation into Cody Walker ongoing
It’s understood the NRL will determine Walker’s punishment by the end of this week, allowing South Sydney a week to prepare for the Roosters on Friday night.
He has indicated he will not appeal any sanction handed down.
On Wednesday afternoon NSW Police confirmed two men, aged 20 and 21, had been issued charges for offensive behaviour and the investigation has been concluded.
Walker, 30, escaped charge over the incident while an investigation into claims he was blackmailed for $20,000 are ongoing.
“Earlier this week, detectives from Richmond Police District commenced an investigation into an incident in Casino on 1 December 2019,” a statement read.
“Following extensive inquiries, two men - aged 20 and 21 - were each issued a Criminal Infringement Notice (CIN) today, for offensive behaviour.
“The investigation has concluded, and no further action will be taken.”
Meanwhile, Walker addressed Souths teammates this week to vow his off-field dramas would not be a distraction.
“He reassured us it wasn’t going to distract him from his main goal and that's to be with us boys and try to win a premiership,” said Rabbitohs teammate Dane Gagai.
“The way he's been training and how we've all been training there's been no signs it will be a distraction.”