The Penrith Panthers have called in cybersecurity experts to find the source of vile rumours being spread on social media about players and staff.
The newly-crowned 2020 minor premiers have been rocked by sexual allegations involving a former female staff member, several star players and two current staff.
‘Panthers have been made aware of false allegations circulating on social media alleging inappropriate relationships between a former staff member and current staff members,’ a Penrith Panthers club statement reads.
‘The allegations are untrue. Panthers have instructed their lawyers and are also retaining cyber investigators to trace the source and sharing of the allegations and to apply the full force of the law including reporting the matter to the police.
‘No further comments will be made until the investigations have concluded.’
Rumours involving sexual allegations with current and former staff have rocked the Penrith Panthers
Players were alleged to have made a COVID breach, though Sydney Morning Herald reports the NRL does not believe the club has broken any biosecurity rules.
Panthers management have reached out to the same investigative team hired by former Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold before his dramatic departure from the NRL.
Seibold was the target of slanderous and false comments on social media in the wake of his decision to stay in New South Wales after his team’s loss to South Sydney on August 7.
The 45-year-old sought the services of both lawyers and European cyber-crime researchers with military background to trace the source of the malicious comments.
Sources from the Panthers believe, like in Seibold’s case, the rumours are being spread by someone or a group of people with ties to the NRL.
Seibold handed over the names of three internet trolls and NRL identities from Sydney to the NRL Integrity Unit earlier this month.
Club have called on the cybercrime team used by former Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold (pictured) to trace the rumours
He received a payout of $1million to walk away from the struggling Broncos on August 27.
Although Seibold is against making the names public, if he wishes to take the case further and inform the NSW and Queensland Police, the identities will eventually be made public during court proceedings.
The Panthers have won 17 of their 19 matches this season and will achieve a club record 15-game win streak with a win over the Canterbury Bulldogs this weekend.
The club are on track to claim their third premiership this season and their first since 2003.