ARLC chairman Peter V’landys rsaid on Friday morning: “We’ll investigate them (claims), no doubt about that.
“But I stress, all parties including the South Sydney club and Sam Burgess deserve due process and natural justice.
“Once we have all the information we’ll make the appropriate decisions.
“It would be totally inappropriate for me to comment on this particular case, I don’t have sufficient facts.
“And like anyone else in the community you have to provide due process and natural justice and Sam should be afforded that.”
He added: “If the allegations are proven to be correct, and there’s a long way to go yet, because they have to be proven and everyone should be given due process and natural justice, but if they are proven, they’re pretty serious.”
The NRL confirmed that a “comprehensive investigation” had been launched into the allegations, with chief executive Andrew Abdo adding: “These allegations are very serious and I’ve instructed the Integrity Unit to investigate the claims as a priority.
“We will also seek the advice of police and other relevant authorities throughout this process.”
South Sydney Rabbitohs have also pledged to treat the allegations with “the utmost seriousness”, and added that they welcome a full investigation into the claims that involves several staff members at the club, including co-owner Russell Crowe.
“The allegations in today’s The Australian newspaper are very concerning and the club is treating them with the utmost seriousness,” a statement from the Rabbitohs read.
“There is no place in our society for violence, harassment or abuse against women. If anyone is found guilty of allegations of this nature, the club will take the strongest possible action.
“The club takes issues of drug use very seriously and has well-established policies and procedures in place around the use of performance enhancing or illicit/recreational/prescription drugs.
“The club will continue to work closely with ASADA and the NRL which administer testing of the players. The club will also continue to work with the playing group to support their wellbeing and educate them about drug use.