Referee Ben Thaler 'exonerated' of wrongdoing after nearly two months stood down
Leading referee Ben Thaler has seen his seven-week suspension lifted and been exonerated of any wrongdoing following an internal investigation by the Rugby Football League.
The 38-year-old has not officiated since he was in charge of Hull FC's win over Leeds Rhinos on February 2 - the opening round of the season.
The RFL suspended him pending the outcome of the investigation but the reasons for the inquiry have never been publicly disclosed.
However, the governing body tonight released a statement that read: "Ben Thaler will again be considered for appointments as a member of the RFL’s squad of full-time match officials when competitive Rugby League resumes, after the completion of an internal investigation found there was no case to answer."
Wakefield-born Thaler, who has enjoyed an impeccable record since joining the RFL in 2006, said: "I’m happy to have been exonerated from any of the allegations made against me, with the process being completed, no adverse findings made and my suspension therefore having been immediately lifted.
“I’d like to put it all behind me now and concentrate on refereeing, whenever games restart.
“I would like to thank my family and friends for their encouragement and support during such a difficult time. Their support and the messages of support I have had from the wider game has been overwhelming.”