14-week ban for Kolelishvili

Date published: January 19 2016

Clermont back-row forward Vito Kolelishvili has been suspended for 14 weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Paris.

Kolelishivili was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, Mike Rafter (England), for pushing the match referee, Wayne Barnes (England), in the 17th minute of the Champions Cup Round 5 fixture against the Ospreys at Liberty Stadium in contravention of Law 10.4 (m).

Law 10.4 (m) Physical abuse of match officials
Under World Rugby's Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (m), Physical abuse of a match official, carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 24 weeks; Mid-Range: 48 weeks; Top End: 96+ weeks to life

The independent Judicial Officer, David Martin (Ireland), heard evidence and submissions from Kolelishvili, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from Clermont Team Manager, Neil McIlroy, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

In upholding the citing complaint, the Judicial Officer found that Kolelishvili had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card. He determined that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected 24 weeks as the appropriate entry point.

He added two weeks due to the player's poor disciplinary record before reducing the sanction by half of the entry point taking into account Kolelishvili's immediate apology to the referee, his subsequent remorse, guilty plea and good conduct at the hearing. He then imposed a suspension of 14 weeks.

Kolelishvili is free to play on Monday, 25 April 2016. Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.