Cheika given suspended ban for cameraman abuse
April 29, 2014
Michael Cheika will have to watch his future conduct © Getty Images
Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has been handed a six-month suspended ban for his abuse of a cameraman during their game against the Sharks on March 29.
The ban will be triggered if he commits a similar offence before the end of August 2015. Cheika pleaded guilty to the charge of misconduct and has to pen a letter of apology to the Supersport cameraman alongside paying costs of AUS$6,000 (£3,300).
In his assessment of the case Nigel Hampton QC, who conducted the hearing, said Cheika was heard telling the cameraman to "f**k off" while acting in a "heated way". Hampton added: "I do not regard Cheika to be a first-time offender and it would be farcical to disregard other matters over the past nine years, including proven misconduct allegations from his time as a professional coach in Europe and a warning from SANZAR during the 2013 Super Rugby season.
"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 Cheika to behave in this manner is disturbing. 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's admission of guilt and contrition during the hearing is balanced by inappropriate accusations made on his behalf that witnesses fabricated evidence; a notion they rightly recoiled at."
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