Valentine Holmes facing ban and heavy fine over white bag scandal


North Queensland Cowboys star Valentine Holmes will reportedly face a one-game suspension and a fine between $25,000 and $30,000 for posting a picture of himself with a white bag in his mouth.

The image, posted on Holmes’ Instagram account on September 10, saw the Maroons star fullback charged by the NRL for breaching the league’s code of conduct after he allegedly: “brought the game and his club into disrepute by publicly associating the game with illegal drugs”.

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28-year-old Holmes has until 5pm Wednesday to respond to a breach notice from the NRL.

News Corp reports that he will accept a one-game suspension and a $25,000 fine, while the Sydney Morning Herald reports the penalty could be up to $30,000 and at least one game on the sidelines.

News Corp also reports that Holmes is set to front the Cowboys board and will likely be handed an additional penalty by the club.

It is in line with penalties handed out for previous white powder scandals.

Melbourne Storm’s Cameron Munster, Brandon Smith and Chris Lewis were each banned for one game and fined almost $50,000 combined for an incident two years ago. Eels forward Shaun Lane in 2019 was fined $17,500 but was not suspended after a photograph akin to the Holmes one was emerged following the club’s Mad Monday.

Holmes was expected to be selected for the Kangaroos in matches against New Zealand and Samoa in October, with the star now set to be suspended for the first game on October 14 against Samoa.

He was left out of the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII team to face PNG on Saturday as the NRL investigation was ongoing.

Originally published as Valentine Holmes facing ban and heavy fine over white bag scandal

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