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Healey calls in the ghostbusters.

AUSTIN HEALEY has called for closer checks on players' ghosted columns after picking up a pounds 2,000 fine for the controversial article attributed to him during the Lions tour.

The Leicester star believes the Lions authorities should exercise their right to vet columns and also admitted the players had to take some of the blame as well.

"I am disappointed that the disciplinary committee - having accepted that I did not write nor did I say or agree with what was written in the article, nor that I had an opportunity to check the article - still found that I was guilty of bringing the tour party and the Lions into disrepute, " said Healey.

"Players clearly have to accept the responsibility imposed upon them when they enter into contracts to have newspaper columns written in their name.

"I should have checked what was being written in my name.

"Similarly if the management of the team permit players to enter into such contracts and retain the power to vet such columns, they should also ensure the process is carried out."

Healey also blasted the disciplinary process which meant his punishment was dished out almost two months after the offence had been committed.

He felt the issue should have been dealt with instantly, as was the case with fellow Lions scrum-half Matt Dawson, who was carpeted over his own controversial column.

"It would have been better if the disciplinary process had been carried out before the tour ended, whatever the circumstances, " said Healey.

"I gave my total commitment to the tour and was disappointed in the way the charge was worded.

"However, I accept the penalty imposed by the Disciplinary Committee and I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any effects this incident has had on the name of the 2001 British Lions."
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 9, 2001
Words:303
Previous Article:letters; BRAM'S BAG.
Next Article:YOUNG: WHY I'M A BIG HEALEY FAN; Offensive, yes, but Austin's also just a cheeky Scouser.

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