Zebre hooker Oliviero Fabiani has been handed a nine-week suspension following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in London on Wednesday.
Fabiani was sent off by referee Mathieu Raynal for biting Connacht second-row Quinn Roux in the 29th minute of the match at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi in contravention of Law 10.4 (m).
Law 10.4 (m) Acts contrary to good sportsmanship
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (m), Biting of an opponent, carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 12 weeks; Mid-Range: 18 weeks; Top End: 24 to 208 weeks.
An independent Disciplinary Committee consisting of Antony Davies (England), Chairman, Jean-Noel Couraud (France) and Daniel White (England) heard evidence and submissions from Fabiani, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from Zebre representative, Ernesto Cavatorti, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.
In upholding the red card decision, the Committee found that the offence was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions and selected 18 weeks as the appropriate entry point.
The Committee then decided to reduce the sanction by the maximum of 50 per cent – nine weeks – due to Fabiani’s timely guilty plea, expression of remorse and clean disciplinary record before imposing a suspension of nine weeks.
Fabiani is free to play on Monday, 9 January 2017. Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.