In an explosive report published by the Sunday Telegraph, troubled Tigers player Tim Simona has admitted to keeping proceeds of the charity-auctioned jerseys, and has also revealed that he has struggled with a cocaine and gambling addiction.
The gambling problem saw the player lose thousands of dollars in a weekend, with it reported that he could go through a $300 bag of cocaine in an hour, and buying five bags for the weekend.
This raises another concern for the game: Simona had worked out a way to fuel his drug habit and escape detection.
Simona's demise began after a fallout with ex-girlfriend Jaya Taki, who posted about his indiscretions on Facebook last year. While she deleted the post, it came to the attention of club representatives, eventually resulting in an investigation.
On his betting issues, Simona revealed that despite being on a $325, 000 deal per year with the Tigers, he now has only a few grand to his name.
''I’d lose a grand, and then two grand on the Saturday, I’d try and chase it up and get it back on the Sunday,” Simona said in the report.
''I would never let an opposition player score if I was there. Never. Never. Bets mean nothing when I’m on the field. I would never let me teammates down. The Wests Tigers jersey meant everything to me and still does.
Buzz Rothfield, who wrote the report, said that it was unbelievable that the club could be so unaware of all of Simona's problems, especially when he was asking for advances on his salary to fund his addictions.
"I'm not bagging the Wests Tigers, but it's surprising that no one knew," Buzz told Triple M Sunday NRL.
"The other really disturbing revelation for the Tigers his revelation about the number of players on that harbour cruise on that Mad Monday three years ago that were on the cocaine with him.
"The fact is that Tim Simona didn't come clean with the integrity unit, so I think a lot of the revelations in today's story are raw, new, and I don't think anyone at the NRL was quite aware of the drugs - and I'm sure they weren't aware that he was in such a diabolical state with his gambling that he was knocking off five grand a weekend.
Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor was interviewed by Triple M and the Australian's Brent Read just before kick-off of this afternoon's clash between the Tigers and Panthers, but declined to comment on the issue.
Instead, he said that he will answer questions during the week, but just not on game day.