Corey Norman of Toulouse Olympique has been suspended for eight matches, and fined Â£500, after being found guilty by an independent Operational Rules Tribunal of a Grade F charge of Other Contrary Behaviour in last Thursdayâ€™s Betfred Super League fixture at Warrington.
The player pleaded not guilty but Her Honour Justice Sarah Wright, who chaired the tribunal, explained that she and the two side members â€“ both former players - were â€œentirely satisfiedâ€ that he had intentionally placed a hand between the buttocks of an opposing player.
The relevant excerpt of the ruling, which will be published in full tomorrow, is as follows:
â€œThe footage of the incident shows a deliberate movement of Corey Normanâ€™s left arm and hand over the top of Oliver Holmes and on to his buttocks. 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 Normanâ€™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.â€
In the later hearings, two players successfully challenged Grade F charges of Unacceptable Behaviour or Language.
Sitiveni Moceidreke of London Broncos had been charged following an incident in the Betfred Championship fixture against Sheffield Eagles on July 3.
Kieran Dixon had been charged following an incident in a Betfred League One fixture on June 12, when he was playing on loan with Rochdale Hornets against Swinton Lions.
Both players were found not guilty.