Revealed: Panthers star behind sex tape named
A DEVASTATED Tyrone May has been withdrawn from Penrith's crucial final hit-out before round one, as the NRL prepares to interview the rising star over a new sex-tape scandal.
In what is NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg's first test since announcing the code's strict new behavioural policy on Friday, the nine-month old video has thrust the code back under a dim spotlight.
The two sex tapes involving May, two women and another unnamed man were viewed by the NRL Integrity Unit on Saturday.
One of the videos shows a man, who The Sunday Telegraph believes to be May, calling the woman a "f---ing ratbag" and pushing the back of her head during the sex act.
There is no suggestion of any criminal wrongdoing by anyone in the video.
While May's face is not in view, a distinguishing tattoo led the NRL to investigate the video after being told it was a Penrith player.
The Panthers have not hidden from the fact the video shows one of their players and have encouraged the NRL Integrity Unit to conduct its investigation as quickly as possible.
"We're just waiting for their correspondence and we'll go from there,'' Penrith chief executive Bryan Fletcher said.
In a statement released on Saturday afternoon the club said it "unreservedly apologised" to members, fans and sponsors for the "hurt and embarrassment caused by the videos and subsequent media coverage".
"Panthers players and staff are acutely aware of the responsibility they have to the club and to the game to maintain impeccable standards of behaviour," the statement said.
"The club does not hesitate to act by way of disciplinary action when these standards are not met."
With May having been stood down from the trial match against Parramatta due to concerns for his welfare, it's anticipated he will be interviewed by the NRL on Sunday.
The timing of the release of the videos, on the same day Greenberg meted out a range of sanctions, left Penrith officials bemused and questioning the motive behind the timing of its distribution on social media.
It's not known who distributed the video.
Greenberg is in a difficult position given his stance taken over Canterbury's Dylan Napa on Friday.
Napa was fined 10 per cent of his 2019 salary - $70,000 - following the release of lewd videos that went viral in January.
The NRL opted against suspending the former Sydney Roosters forward because the videos dated back five years.
"However, I give warning that any similar behaviour filmed and date stamped from today, will attract much more severe sanctions including suspensions,'' Greenberg said.
"The Dylan Napa tapes have damaged the way our players are perceived by the general public.
"This hurts every player, through perceptions of who we are and what we stand for.
"The videos I have seen are gross, juvenile and disrespectful. If there was a grading in our system for stupidity this behaviour would be at the very top."
In May's case, the two videos are believed to have been filmed and circulated among NRL players across the game nine months ago.
Over the past 24 hours, club welfare staff and teammates have been in constant contact with May, who is shattered by the release of the videos.
The NRL has been told the videos are out of character for the 21-year-old, who is held in high regard by his teammates and coaching staff.
The former under-20s captain was set to start the season in the Panthers' top 17, with his ability to play a number of positions leading the young talent to be a frontrunner for a bench spot in round one against Parramatta.