SYDNEY (AFP) – Wallaby Kurtley Beale was found guilty of sending an offensive text message to an ARU employee and fined US$38,500 by an Australian Rugby Union code of conduct tribunal Friday.
But the Tribunal said the evidence could not establish whether a second more offensive text message and photograph had been sent by Beale and he avoided suspension and having his contract terminated.
Beale sent the phone message to team business manager Di Patson, who has since resigned from her position, following a heated argument on a team flight from South Africa to Argentina in early October.
In the fall-out over Beale’s texts Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie abruptly quit last weekend and was replaced by Michael Cheika.
ARU CEO Bill Pulver said the tribunal’s findings and sanction would be accepted.
“We have obligations to our fans and the broader community and we are committed to ensuring any behaviour that has the potential to breach our code of conduct or values is investigated and taken seriously,” Pulver said.
“This was deemed a serious violation by the tribunal and, as such, we intend to donate the US$38,500 collected through this fine to a suitable organisation that promotes the empowerment of women.”