New Delhi, 15 August. Former Australia player John Hopoate has been banned from the sport for 10 years after being found guilty of "very serious" charges arising from incidents during a minor-league match in July.
The 44-year-old John faced several charges, including using offensive language and acting with aggression, after playing for Narraweena against Forestville.
He was penalised for a high tackle, then sent off for throwing a punch.
According to a report published in BBC SPORT “The former NRL player told the New South Wales Rugby League disciplinary review panel he reacted after being racially abused by an opposition player.”
“This is not the first time Hopoate, who won two caps for the Kangaroos, has been punished for misdemeanours. He was:
Banned for 12 matches for poking opponents' backsides while at Wests Tigers in 2001.
Banned for 17 games for a dangerous high hit on Cronulla's Keith Galloway while playing for Manly-Warringah in 2005.”
Suspended for a total of 45 weeks during his NRL career.
Who is John Hopoate
John Hopoate (born 16 January 1974) is a Tongan former professional rugby league footballer, and boxer. A Tonga, Australia and New South Wales State of Origin representative winger, he played in the National Rugby League for Sydney clubs, the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (with whom he won the 1995 Premiership), Wests Tigers and Northern Eagles.
Hopoate also became Australian heavyweight boxing champion.
He was born in Tonga, but moved to Australia with his family while he was still young and took up the game of rugby league.