I acknowledge that I fell below the standards expected of me as a Wallaby
Controversial Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper has been fined a total of $60,000 for his critical comments about the Australian squad.
Cooper described the Wallabies squad as a 'toxic environment' on Twitter which cost him $10,000, and he was fined a further $50,000 in connection with other media comments made about ARU and the Wallabies, with $20,000 of the fine suspended for a period of two years, subject to ongoing compliance with the ARU Code of Conduct.
He was also handed a three match suspension applicable to any Super Rugby or Test Match in which he would be available. The three match suspension will only be enforced should Cooper fail to adhere to the ARU Code of Conduct over the following two years.
In making their decision the panel took into consideration the period of time over which the offences were committed and Cooper’s previous record.
Following the Tribunal’s decision, Cooper said, he was pleased the matter had been resolved.
"I had a fair hearing and I acknowledge that I fell below the standards expected of me as a Wallaby," Cooper said.
"I want to focus on the future and moving forward I am determined to restore the faith people have placed in me.
"My passion for representing my country is very strong and I am focused on having a strong year next year and putting my hand up for selection in the Wallabies squad," he added.
ARU Deputy CEO, Matt Carroll said that the ARU noted the Tribunal's findings and would now consider the next step in the contracting process with Quade Cooper.
"ARU placed contract negotiations with Quade Cooper on hold until the Tribunal process had been finalised," Carroll said.
"Given the Tribunal has handed down its decision, this matter as far as we are concerned has been finalised. ARU will now look at how we address the contract situation involving Quade Cooper."