Toulouse Olympique’s Corey Norman has been suspended for eight matches, and fined £500, after being found guilty by an independent Operational Rules Tribunal of a Grade F charge of ‘other contrary behaviour’ in last Thursday’s Betfred Super League fixture at Warrington.
Australian Norman, who has also been fined £500, pleaded not guilty at his disciplinary hearing after being charged with a Grade F offence – the highest possible, which carries a suspension of at least eight matches.
But Her Honour Justice Sarah Wright, who chaired the independent operational rules tribunal, said the panel were “entirely satisfied” the act was deliberate.
The charge means that Norman’s season is over and he will play no more part in the French side’s relegation battle.
The relevant excerpt of the ruling, which will be published in full on Wednesday, read: “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.
“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.”