Diamond hit with 18-week ban
February 16, 2012
Sale executive director Steve Diamond has been slapped with an 18-week touchline ban as well as a £4,000 fine by a Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing.
The incident in questions occured at the end of the Sharks' 21-19 defeat by London Irish on January 8. Diamond was subsequently charged with one count of verbally abusing referee Wayne Barnes and his assistants Rhys Davies and Gareth Copsey after Barnes awarded the Exiles a late penalty for a scrum offence that was kicked by Adrian Jarvis.
Diamond was given a 12-week suspended sentence last October for pushing Northampton's Nick Johnston after a Premiership match. The incident with Barnes led to that suspended sentence being invoked.
The RFU charged Diamond under rule 5.12, which covers "conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union and/or game".
Diamond pleaded guilty at the hearing in Coventry and was given the sanction which prevents him from entering the playing enclosure, technical area, approaching match officials and communicating or attempting to communicate directly with match Officials before, during and after the game on the day of the match.
The panel said: "Referees strive to do the best they can in a highly-pressurised environment. Wayne Barnes is acknowledged as one of the best referees in the game. Referees are entitled to respect at all times, whether the final whistle has been blown or not."
Diamond must pay the £4,000 fine within 14 days, while his ban expires on June 20.
Meanwhile, Leicester prop Julian White has been given a one-week ban for stamping during the Tigers' 19-11 defeat by Exeter on February 11.
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