The Six Nations have responded to suggestions in the media that Ireland prop Cian Healy's recent citing was somehow unprecedented and/or outside the scope of the relevant regulations.
Healy was banned for three weeks for stamping on England prop Dan Coles and will miss his team's next two Six Nations encounters.
During the hearing of the citing complaint against Healy, the chairman of theindependent Disciplinary Committee, Roger Morris of Wales made it clear to Healy that he was suspended from the date on which he had been informed of the citing complaint against him (11 February 2013) until midnight on the night of Sunday, 10 March.
The Disciplinary Committee has not yet produced its written decision but Morris has written to Six Nations Rugby Limited and those representing Healy at the hearing to confirm the position.
He explained: "I do not think anyone present at the hearing on Wednesday was in any doubt that Mr Healy is not free to play again until after midnight on 10 March'.
Accordingly, Healy is currently suspended and will remain suspended -- subject to appeals -- until 11 March 2013. He is therefore not eligible to play for Leinster in this weekend's Pro12 match against Benetton Treviso.
Healy has a right of appeal against the decision of the independent Disciplinary Committee, as do Six Nations Rugby Limited and the IRB. However, in the event of an appeal Mr Healy will remain suspended pending any appeal hearing.
In addition, following clause 2.5.99 of the Six Nations Disciplinary and Anti-Doping Rules (which is consistent with IRB Regulations 17.19.10 and 17.19.11), and in keeping with other decisions, the Disciplinary Committee excluded this weekend from its calculations of the three-week suspension as a result of evidence given at the hearing to the effect that Mr Healy would not have been selected to play for Leinster in this weekend match against Benetton Treviso.