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Dugan hit with $50k NRL fine for breach

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Josh Dugan has been fined $50,000 by the NRL and booted out of Cronulla's biosecurity bubble for his second COVID-19 breach in less than two months.

The 31-year-old former Australia and State of Origin star was charged by NSW Police earlier this week for breaking state health orders after attempting to travel with a friend to Lithgow in western NSW.

The pair were pulled over twice and ordered to return home, allegedly telling police they were moving to the area and were going to feed animals before saying they were visiting a friend.

"The (NRL) has issued Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks player Josh Dugan with a breach notice for failing to comply with the game's biosecurity protocols," a statement on Thursday read.

"The notice proposes Dugan is fined $50,000 and removed from the club's biosecurity bubble in NSW.

"The notice alleges Dugan drove to Lithgow with a friend on the evening of 20 August, in contravention of the game's level 4 protocols."

It has put Dugan's 215-game NRL career in severe jeopardy because he is without a contract for next season.

Two months ago he breached the NRL's biosecurity rules after going to a restaurant while under the game's strict protocols as the COVID-19 outbreak took hold in Sydney.

Dugan was fined $25,000 by the NRL and he wasn't included in the Cronulla squad when the Sharks moved to their Queensland camp..

"In considering the proposed penalty, the NRL took into account that the alleged breach was Dugan's second serious contravention of biosecurity protocols in the past two months," the statement read.

"The NRL alleges that Dugan has shown a continued failure to comply with the protocols and poses an unacceptable risk to his teammates in the NSW bubble."

The ex-representative star now has five days to respond to the breach notice.

He is set to face charges of not complying with NSW health orders at Lithgow Local Court on October 7.

© AAP 2021

Image: NAPARAZZI, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons