Sam Burgess steps down from coaching position with South Sydney Rabbitohs amid allegations of domestic violence and drug use

    Sam Burgess retired in 2019 and took up a coaching role with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

    (CNN)Sam Burgess has stepped down from his coaching role with the South Sydney Rabbitohs following what the club calls "very concerning" allegations against the team's former star player.

    The newspaper The Australian published an investigation into Burgess on Friday, alleging the 31-year-old had engaged in drug use, domestic violence and incidents of sexual harassment. The report also says South Sydney covered up the alleged incidents to protect Burgess.
    Burgess' lawyer Mark O'Brien did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment, but in a statement to The Australian said: "The allegations are false and constitute an indefensible defamation against my client.
      "It is apparent sources of the false allegations are those currently in dispute with my client over various issues."
      South Sydney issued a statement noting that "the allegations in today's The Australian newspaper are very concerning and the club is treating them with the utmost seriousness.
      Burgess attempts to break a tackle against the Canberra Raiders in August 2018.
      "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.