The charge against Steve Diamond of Sale Sharks for conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union and/or the Game, contrary to RFU Rule 5.12, was heard this evening.
Following the conclusion of the Anglo-Welsh Cup match between Harlequins and Sale on Friday 3 February, the Sale Director of Rugby verbally abused the match officials.
Diamond pleaded guilty and was given a six-week suspension.
He will serve three of those weeks immediately and the remaining three weeks will be suspended until the end of the 2018/19 season. In addition, Diamond has been fined £3000, half of which is payable immediately and the rest again suspended until the end of the 2018/19 season.
Both suspended elements will be activated in the event of another similar offence.
Diamond will be suspended from entering the playing enclosure/technical area, approaching all match officials (directly or indirectly) and talking to the match officials both during and after the game, including at half time.
The RFU Disciplinary panel said: “The panel deprecates any abuse of match officials regardless of the circumstances. Such behaviour is contrary to the spirit of rugby and the core values of the game and will be treated seriously by disciplinary panels.”
The panel comprised of Sam Hillas (chairman), Ian Unsworth QC and Tony Wheat.