A Melbourne suburban football club is under investigation over allegations that club officials made players strip naked and run around an oval as punishment for poor performance in a practice game.
The Age has been told some of the East Burwood Rams players, who compete in the second division of the Eastern Football League, were as young as 17.
Concerned parents were among those who prompted an official complaint.
The Eastern Football League said they were investigating the incident, understood to have occurred during a Thursday night training session on May 22.
The league said it was not contacted by the club until this week.
Eastern Football League chief executive Phil Murton said the allegations were being taken ''very seriously''.
''An [league] investigation is under way to assess its validity or otherwise,'' Mr Murton said.
''Once the investigation into the incident is completed, the details will be assessed and any penalties or sanctions will be delivered based on the findings and in accordance with [league] procedures and rules,'' he said.
It is understood the investigation will focus on the incident, rather than on the conduct of individual coaches or players, who train at East Burwood Reserve.
The century-old Australian rules football club is in the middle of a disappointing season, sitting at the bottom of the ladder after losing every game since the first round, in which it scraped home by one point against Doncaster.
Two days after players were allegedly made to strip, the team lost by 61 points to Doncaster East and they sat out last week's round with a bye.
The Rams have not won a senior premiership since 2000, according to the club's website.
East Burwood president Sue Bailey said the club would not comment on the investigation or what had sparked it.
''I've got no comment at all. Everything is to go through the eastern football director,'' Ms Bailey said.