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Toulon president fined as French club receive suspended points penalty

17 July 2018 17:45

Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal has been heavily fined following comments he made in the wake of Mathieu Bastareaud's punishment for using homophobic language.

European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) launched an investigation after Boudjellal claimed in an interview that the Toulon centre's disciplinary hearing would be heard by the organisation's "Mormon side".

Bastareaud went on to plead guilty to verbally abusing an opposing player in the Champions Cup clash with Benetton Treviso in January and was hit with a three-week ban, ruling him out of France's Six Nations opener against Ireland.

Following an independent disciplinary committee hearing, Boudjellal was fined €75,000 for his outburst, with a further €25,000 suspended for three years for any similar offence or misconduct.

Toulon, who were also subject of a misconduct complaint, received a five-point penalty in future EPCR tournaments, though their punishment is suspended for three seasons.

"The independent disciplinary committee upheld the complaints against Mr Boudjellal and Toulon in their entirety, ruling (among other things) that Mr Boudjellal's comments discriminated against and insulted a number of different groups and that they brought the game of rugby into disrepute," a statement from EPCR said.

"The independent disciplinary committee considered the misconduct to have been very serious and determined that both Mr Boudjellal and Toulon should receive a significant sanction.

"The committee also concluded that there were several aggravating factors, including poor disciplinary records and poor conduct during the disciplinary process, and that these increased the severity of the sanctions imposed.

"That poor conduct included ignoring directions made by the independent disciplinary committee and responding derisively to requests from the committee for information."

Boudjellal and Toulon opted not to attend the hearing. They have the right to appeal against the verdicts.

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