Sharks head coach, Gary Gold, has been fined guilty of misconduct after approaching and verbally abusing a TMO.
A SANZAAR Judicial Hearing conducted by Nigel Hampton QC (New Zealand) has found Gold guilty of misconduct under the SANZAAR Code of Conduct following the Sharks v Crusaders match on March 26.
Gold admitted a charge of misconduct, which also involved two breaches of the Super Rugby Competition Rules, by engaging with the Television Match Official (TMO) during the second half of the match.
In his finding Mr Hampton QC 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 TMOs officiating in the Match."
Mr Hampton 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."
Mr Hampton confirmed that Mr Gold should be fined A$5000 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$5000 for the SANZAAR Code of Conduct breach, of which A$2500 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 behavior, and told that any further Code of Conduct breach within 12 months would result in the suspended A$2500 becoming immediately payable. He was also ordered to pay SANZAAR’s costs of A$1000.
Gold has unreservedly apologised for his behavior to the TMO, Mr Johan Greeff, and agreed that this type of behaviour has no place in the game.
The Judicial Officer directed that, save for the SANZAAR Chief Executive Officer responding to the media in terms consistent with this media release, no person involved in the proceedings will make any further comment in respect of this matter.