Toulon prop Martin Castrogiovanni has received a suspended four-match ban and a €10,000 fine after his outburst at Leicester boss Richard Cockerill.
Castrogiovanni appeared before an independent Disciplinary Committee made up of Antony Davies (England, Chairman), Roger Morris (Wales) and Pat Barriscale (Ireland) in London today (Wednesday, 17 December). He was accompanied at the hearing by his legal representative, Julian Pike, the RC Toulon Team Manager, Tom Whitford, and his agent, Matthew Ginvert.
The misconduct complaint against Castrogiovanni was that after the match he made a number of comments to the media in which he attacked, disparaged, criticised, damaged and/or brought into disrepute Leicester Tigers, the club’s Director of Rugby, Richard Cockerill, EPCR, the European Rugby Champions Cup and the sport of rugby union in contravention of the Disciplinary Rules of the European Rugby Champions Cup Participation Agreement 2014/15.
After considering evidence and hearing submissions on behalf of Castrogiovanni, who pleaded guilty, and on behalf of the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, the independent Disciplinary Committee found that Castrogiovanni was guilty of misconduct and that the comments made were utterly indefensible.
The Committee Chairman, Antony Davies, accepted that Castrogiovanni’s comments regarding Leicester Tigers being “amateur” were made in an ironic and questioning manner, and therefore did not constitute criticism. He also acknowledged the player’s genuine remorse.
Castrogiovanni was ordered to pay €10,000 to a charity in the city of Leicester and was banned for four matches with the ban suspended until 30 April 2016.
The ban will be activated in the event of any off-field misconduct complaint being successfully brought against him. He was also ordered to pay costs.