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EPCR statement: Pau coach banned for verbally abusing Hollie Davidson

By Sam Smith
Match official Hollie Davidson (Photo by Michael Bradley/AFP via Getty Images)

Pau assistant coach Geoffrey Lanne-Petit has been banned and his club given a suspended fine after misconduct charges for abusing assistant referee Hollie Davidson and failure to control staff members at the end of a match last month were upheld at a disciplinary hearing.

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An EPCR statement read: “The Pau attack coach Geoffrey Lanne-Petit has been suspended for five weeks and Pau handed a suspended €25,000 fine following an independent disciplinary hearing arising from the club’s Challenge Cup round one match against the Cheetahs at Stade du Hameau.

EPCR brought a misconduct complaint against Lanne-Petit, who was alleged to have committed an act of misconduct in contravention of EPCR’s disciplinary rules by verbally abusing assistant referee Hollie Davidson (Scotland), following the conclusion of the match.

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“Also, EPCR brought a second misconduct complaint against Pau who were alleged to have failed to control staff members, and/or persons connected to the club, following the conclusion of the match.

“An independent disciplinary committee comprising Gareth Graham (England, chair), David Humphreys (Ireland) and Donal Courtney (Ireland) heard evidence and submissions from Lanne-Petit, who accepted the misconduct charge, from Pau president Bernard Pontneau, from Pau legal representative Benjamin Peyrelevade, from Pau CEO Pierre Lahore and from Pau legal manager Marie Anglade.

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“The committee, who also heard evidence and submissions from Davidson and EPCR disciplinary officer Liam McTiernan, found that Lanne-Petit had committed an act of misconduct in that he verbally abused Davidson following the match and it was decided to suspend him for five weeks.

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“Lanne-Petit is therefore suspended from any match day contact with the Pau playing squad, including access to the technical zone, pitchside, dressing rooms, any team areas and team communications systems until midnight on Sunday, February 26.

“In addition, the committee found Pau guilty of failing to control members of their coaching staff and persons connected to the club who disrespected the authority of the match officials following the conclusion of the match.

“Pau were fined €25,000 with the amount suspended until the end of the 2023/24 season which would only become payable if the club is found to have committed a further breach of EPCR’s disciplinary rules during that period.”

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