The Stormers have been fined a total of A$25,000 (ZAR 228,000) by SANZAR after they were found guilty of insulting and offensive conduct towards a match official.
A SANZAR Judicial Hearing conducted by Mr Terry Willis (Australia) has found the Stormers Team guilty of Misconduct under the SANZAR Code of Conduct following charges of insulting and offensive conduct towards Match Officials during the Stormers vs Hurricanes match on 26 April 2013.
The Stormers Team has been found to have brought the game into disrepute and breached Section 8.3 of the SANZAR Code of Conduct:
a) All persons must ensure the game is played and conducted in accordance with disciplined and sporting behaviour and acknowledge that it is not sufficient to reply solely upon the Match Officials to maintain those principles;
l) All persons shall not use crude or abusive language or gestures towards referees, assistant referees, Match Officials or spectators.
While a SANZAR statement did not elaborate on the circumstances, New Zealand media reported that an assistant referee was verbally abused by members of the Stormers' management at the Palmerston North, New Zealand on April 26.
John Knowles, chief executive of the Manawatu Rugby Union which hosted the match, told reporters "the matter was reported through the referees group."
The Stormers Team has admitted their behaviour and accepted, that insulting and offensive conduct towards match officials was a breach of the SANZAR Code of Conduct and has no place in rugby and has unreservedly apologised to the Match Officials and Mr Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri in particular.
The Stormers Team have been fined the maximum financial penalty of A$15,000 for the insulting and offensive conduct towards Match Officials and A$10,000 for bringing the game into disrepute and also ordered to pay SANZAR's costs.