/ Rugby

Former Leinster coach Michael Cheika gets six-month suspended ban for abuse of cameraman

Updated: Tuesday, 29 Apr 2014 16:49 | Comments

Michael Cheika was Leinster head coach between 2005 and 2010
Michael Cheika was Leinster head coach between 2005 and 2010

Former Leinster coach Michael Cheika has been given a suspended six-month ban by Super Rugby's governing body after he admitted abusing a cameraman in South Africa during a Super Rugby match in late March.

Cheika, 47, who now coaches the New South Wales Waratahs, was charged with misconduct for using crude, insulting or abusive language, a breach of SANZAR's code of conduct, during his team's defeat to the Sharks in Durban.

Judicial officer Nigel Hampton found that Cheika had abused the cameraman at least twice shortly after halftime, with accompanied finger pointing, and swore at him on at least one further occasion.

He also found Cheika's evidence "unconvincing", that false accusations and fabricated witness evidence were made on his behalf, but that while the abuse was unprovoked and disturbing, it was not threatening.

"The propensity of Mr Cheika to behave in this manner is disturbing" - judicial officer Nigel Hampton

"This matter bears a number of striking similarities with past instances, particularly the use of foul and abusive language towards those charged with running a match and the propensity of Mr Cheika to behave in this manner is disturbing," Hampton said in a statement.

"Given his previous record and the factual findings of the investigation, I regard this as a serious offence and do not see it as a result of any provocation, nor is there any excuse for it."

Cheika admitted using "stern" language on at least one occasion.

The ban is suspended until 31 August 2015, with Cheika ordered to pay costs of 6,000 Australian dollars (a little over €4,000)and apologise to the cameraman.

Cheika was given a warning by SANZAR during the 2013 Super Rugby season and was handed a large fine for abusing match officials during and after Stade Francais' loss to Harlequins in the final of the 2011 Amlin Cup, Europe's second-tier rugby competition.

Two weeks before the Sharks match Cheika, who was given 48-hours to appeal the decision, broke a glass door at Canberra Stadium.

He was Leinster head coach between 2005 and 2010, during which time they won their first Heineken Cup.

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