Chris Lewis's NRL Cinderella story has turned into a nightmare after the Storm utility was implicated in a post-season party scandal in which a video surfaced that appears to show a white substance on a table.
The incident - which also involves Storm superstars Cameron Munster and Brandon Smith - took place after the minor premiers' preliminary final loss to the Panthers on Saturday.
The NRL integrity unit and the Storm launched investigations.
Speaking on NRL360 on Fox League, veteran rugby league journalist Phil Rothfield alleged that the three players "won't admit they did anything wrong".
"They won't talk about the substance that was on the table at the time," he alleged.
"The integrity unit believe they have enough to charge three players for bringing the game into disrepute and spoiling Dally M night with unwarranted headlines for the game in what's already been a tough year."
Rothfield said the trio were facing suspensions of up to four weeks: "They won't start next year and the fines are going to be very heavy."
Munster, he continued, was facing a fine of up to $40,000, while Smith and Lewis were facing fines of $20,000 and $5,000 respectively.
The video, which has been circulated on social media, shows Smith wearing sunglasses near what appears to be a white substance on the table of a Queensland hotel room.
A second video emerged of Munster dancing on a table and holding what appears to be a small baggie containing white powder.
In a statement on Tuesday, Storm chief executive Justin Rodski said "the club is taking this matter extremely seriously".
"We are very disappointed to be in this position and will be thorough in our response," he said.
"The players involved have fully cooperated with the NRL and the NRL Integrity Unit investigation. It is our understanding this investigation is unlikely to be concluded this week."
At age 27, Ashford export Lewis last year became the Storm's oldest-ever NRL debutant after overcoming a series of serious injuries.
He then signed a two-year deal and played 20 games for Melbourne this year, mostly off the bench, to go with his five from last year.
He was lauded for his utility value, playing a number of positions in 2021 including second-row, lock and five-eighth.
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