WRU apologises after former employee alleges sexual assault in Principality Stadium cupboard

WRU apologises after former employee alleges sexual assault in Principality Stadium cupboard

The Welsh Rugby Union has apologised after a female former employee alleged she was sexually assaulted in a cupboard at the Principality Stadium.

The unnamed victim claims she was attacked twice at the venue between 2019 and 2021, according to a report from ITV.

WRU chief executive Abi Tierney told ITV: "Firstly, it is vitally important for me, on behalf of everyone at the Welsh Rugby Union, to formally apologise directly to the individual involved. The behaviour described is totally unacceptable and was not ever, and will not ever, be tolerated.

"Our culture did not prevent such an incident from happening and, whilst we know our people team worked hard to offer support and care over an extended period of time, some of our HR policies for addressing such incidences were not right.

"We have said already that we regret the use of non-disclosure settlements or similar arrangements where employment ended.

"More widely, I would like to reiterate the full apology both myself and others have previously offered to anyone who has been affected by issues and challenges highlighted by our recent independent review.

"Although the person has wished to remain anonymous, from the description of the circumstances, it is our understanding that this is one of the cases examined by the review and in this way has already fed the recommendations for change that we are committed to deliver."

The allegations were not mentioned in a damning independent review released in November last year which found the WRU was an "unforgiving, even vindictive" environment to work in for some of its employees.

That review was launched last February, following a BBC programme aired the previous month which reported allegations of racism, sexism, misogyny and homophobia connected to the WRU.

The union workplace "contained elements of bullying and discrimination" and was experienced as "toxic" by some employees, the Dame Rafferty report found.

The review made 36 recommendations in all, covering governance, complaints handling, the union's approach to inclusion and diversity and investment in the women's game.

The organisation's former chief executive, Steve Phillips, quit within days of the BBC programme airing, with Tierney's appointment as his permanent successor confirmed in August.

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