The Sharks director of rugby Gary Gold has been found guilty of misconduct and fined a total of A$15,000 (R170,000).
After appearing before a Sanzaar judicial hearing on Tuesday, Gold admitted a charge of misconduct, which also involved two breaches of the Super Rugby competition rules by engaging with the TMO Johan Greeff during the second half of the recent match against the Crusaders.
In his finding, judicial officer Nigel Hampton concluded that, by his own admission, Gold had approached the TMO on two separate occasions (65th and 71st minutes) and had used crude and insulting language toward the match official.
It was found that, by his actions, Gold had clearly breached Super Rugby Competition Rule 3.8 (7): That no person may engage, or attempt to engage with a TMO during a match in relation to the TMO's officiating in the match. It was also found that Gold’s actions had breached the Sanzaar code of conduct section 8.3 (l), which states: All persons shall not use crude, insulting or abusive language towards match officials.
Hampton confirmed that Gold should be fined A$5,000 for each of the two breaches of Rule 3.8 (7) as permitted under competition rules (a total of A$10,000) and a further A$5,000 for the Sanzaar code of conduct breach, of which A$2,500 is to be suspended for a 12-month period.
Gold was formally reprimanded, issued with a warning as to the likely consequences of further unacceptable behaviour, and told that any further code of conduct breach within 12 months would result in the suspended A$2,500 becoming immediately payable. He was also ordered to pay Sanzaar’s costs of A$1,000.
Gold unreservedly apologised for his behaviour to Greeff, and agreed that this type of behaviour has no place in the game.
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