Spitting scrumhalf cops hefty ban

Thu, 11 Apr 2013 15:31
Jeromefillolbath Peterstringerbath Peter-stringer2

Stade Francais scrumhalf Jerome Fillol has been suspended for 14 weeks for spitting at Bath No.9 Peter Stringer during last Saturday's Challenge Cup quarterfinal.

Fillol was alleged to have committed an act contrary to good sportsmanship in that he spat at Stringer during the first half of the match at the Recreation Ground.

Under the IRB Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4(m), spitting at a player, carries the following sanction entry points: Low End: four weeks; Mid Range: seven weeks; Top End: 11+ to 52 weeks.

Independent Judicial Officer, Anthony Davis (England), on Thursday heard evidence and submissions from Fillol, who pleaded guilty, from the Stade Francais secrétaire général, Cédric Boudarel, and from the club’s legal counsel.

Davis also heard submissions from ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O’Connor, and considered written evidence from Stringer.

Davis found that Fillol had spat in the face of Stringer and that it had been an intentional, deliberate and grave act.

He determined that the act warranted a top-end entry point from the IRB’s Sanctions for spitting and considered that 26 weeks, from the available range of 11 to 52 weeks, was the appropriate entry point.

Davis identified no aggravating factors, and after taking into account compelling mitigating factors, which included the genuine remorse expressed by the player at the hearing, as well as his exemplary record and strong character references, he applied mitigation of 12 weeks, before imposing a sanction a 14 weeks.

The suspension will take into account the closed season and will therefore cover a 10-week period from April 6 to June 16 and a further four weeks from July 15 to August 11 in addition to the closed-season period.

Fillol is free to play on August 12. Both the player and ERC have the right to appeal the decision.