THE Bathurst Bushrangers have emphatically denied any female members of their AFL team were forced to run naked during post-grand final celebrations last month.
The Western Advocate was given information on Tuesday that a complaint had been made to AFL NSW after women in the team who hadn't kicked a goal during the season were made to do a “nudie run” as part of a "club tradition".
The paper contacted AFL NSW, the governing body, which confirmed "a nudie run" had taken place and players had been "encouraged - for want of a better phrase – to participate".
A complaint was made after the incident and statements were taken by AFL NSW. After investigating, AFL NSW confirmed members at the club would undergo education and training as a result of the incident.
After speaking to AFL NSW, the Western Advocate sought comment from the Bushrangers Club. The club declined to provide a comment and the story was then published.
While AFL NSW described the incident to the Western Advocate as a "nudie run", the Bushrangers came out late on Thursday and said this was not the case, stressing no-one was naked, and no-one was forced to run.
In a post published on the club’s Facebook page, the Bushrangers made the following statement:
“The Bushrangers are not denying that the event of the undie run occurred. We have fully cooperated throughout the investigation and the matter had been cleared up with all parties prior to this article being published.
“On the night of the grand final celebrations, five ladies were called out to complete the run. Two females from the Lady Bushrangers team completed the run in their underwear in the dark, in front of approximately ten female teammates. Both women who completed the run are adults and consented to the run. Three ladies stated that they did not want to participate in the run, and therefore did not partake and this decision was respected by their team mates."
Bathurst Bushrangers life member and committee member, Tony Lewis, confirmed this, saying participants were not naked and participated because they wanted to do so.
Mr Lewis also confirmed the newspaper sought comment from the club before going to press with the story, but the club declined to make any comment.
"The president was contacted, but he was away. The committee became aware of the paper seeking comment at 5pm, but felt it was too late to reply due to the sensitive issue.
"The club decided to get a consensus on what would be said, and at 5pm, no one at the club was prepared to make a comment,” he said.