JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 12, John Mitchell (Lions Coach) during the Golden Lions Rugby Union Press Conference from Auditorium, Johannesburg Athletics Stadium on October 12, 2011 in Johannesburg, South Africa Photo by Lee Warren / Gallo Images

Golden Lions' president Kevin de Klerk confirmed on Tuesday that coach John Mitchell was suspended last week.

The action was taken pending an investigation into allegations of misconduct filed against the coach by a number of players.

De Klerk said in a radio interview the decision to suspend Mitchell was not taken lightly.

“The decision to suspend John was not a knee-jerk reaction, but a decision that came from a well-documented list of grievances,” De Klerk told Talk Radio 702.

In a statement released by the union, De Klerk said assistant coaches Johan Ackermann and Carlos Spencer would step in during Mitchell's suspension.

“Where necessary, and for the time being, Johan Ackermann (Lions' forward coach), in conjunction with the management team, will make the necessary team-related and technical decisions.”

Mitchell would face a disciplinary hearing as soon as the union had finalised its case against him.

Last season, Mitchell guided the Lions to their first Currie Cup title since 1999.

However, they have managed only two wins in the Super Rugby competition this year and languish in 14th position on the log.

They also lie bottom of the South African conference log, and will not be able to improve their placing with just three games remaining.

The Lions travel to Newlands on Saturday to take on the Stormers in one of their remaining Super Rugby fixtures. – Sapa