Toulouse Olympique halfback Corey Norman has been given an eight-match ban for “an intentional placing of a hand between the buttocks” of an opposing player.
Norman was referred to an independent tribunal for the offence during last week’s defeat at Warrington Wolves, which involved opponent Oliver Holmes, and he pleaded not guilty.
However, the 31-year-old Australian was found guilty of a Grade F charge of other contrary behaviour by the tribunal, and has been suspended for eight matches and fined £500.
Her Honour Justice Sarah Wright, who chaired the tribunal, explained that she and the two side members – both former players – were “entirely satisfied” that he had intentionally committed the offence.
“The footage of the incident shows a deliberate movement of Corey Norman’s left arm and hand over the top of Oliver Holmes and on to his buttocks,” read the ruling.
“At no point does the footage show a grabbing of the shorts to push Oliver Holmes down as described by Corey Norman.
“The footage shows a deliberate placing of Corey Norman’s hands and fingers on the buttocks and coupled with the immediate complaint from Holmes, the reaction of his team-mate Danny Walker and the statement of Holmes to which we have measured regard we are entirely satisfied that this was an intentional placing of a hand between the buttocks of the opposing player and we find the charge proved.”
Former NRL star Norman will miss the remainder of the season and is then out of contract at Toulouse, who he came out of retirement to join earlier this year.