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SBD Global/September 5, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

RFU Apologizes To Former Chair Martyn Thomas, Withdraws Allegations Report

The Rugby Football Union has issued an apology to acting CEO Martyn Thomas and "withdrawn allegations" that were published in a report into the dismissal of former CEO John Steele, according to the PA. Thomas was accused in the 53-page report of having "inappropriate contact" with one of the candidates for the role of RFU performance director and of leaking information to the press. However, an independent report compiled in November by commercial arbitrator Charles Flint QC concluded there was "no solid evidence" to support misconduct charges against Thomas. The RFU has issued a public apology to Thomas and retracted two specific allegations contained within the Blackett report (PA, 9/3).

DRAWING CONCLUSIONS: In London, Gavin Mairs reported that Thomas stood down after eight years as RFU chair in the wake of the controversy following Steele’s sacking in June and threatened in May to take legal action against the governing body. On Monday night, the RFU "moved to draw a line under the affair by issuing an apology and retracting two specific allegations" contained within the Blackett report. An RFU statement read: “The report made a number of conclusions. Amongst these it concluded that Martyn Thomas, the then chairman and acting chief executive had inadvertently, but improperly and repeatedly passed confidential information in relation to the RFU either directly or indirectly through third parties to members of the media." It continued, “(It also concluded that Thomas) had inappropriate contact with one of the candidates for the role of RFU performance director and breached confidentiality between prospective job applicants. The RFU now accepts that there was insufficient evidence to support these conclusions (TELEGRAPH, 9/3).
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