Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

O'Driscoll handed three-week ban

Brian O'Driscoll will miss Leinster's Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final against Wasps

Brian O'Driscoll has been given a three-week suspension for his stamp on Italy's Simone Favaro in Ireland's RBS 6 Nations defeat in Rome.

An independent Six Nations disciplinary committee convened in London on Wednesday decided the offence was in the mid-range of severity, but deducted two weeks on account of his "exemplary previous playing and disciplinary record".

The 34-year-old will miss Leinster's Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final against Wasps on April 5 but his ban expires three days later, making him available for the latter stages of the RaboDirect PRO12 title push.

O'Driscoll, playing in what is thought to have been his 125th and final Test for Ireland, was sent to the sin-bin for only the second time in his 14-year professional career in the 22-15 loss at the Stadio Olimpico.

At the hearing, the 2005 Lions captain admitted he had committed an act of foul play but denied it warranted a red card.

The disciplinary committee, chaired by Robert Williams of Wales, however, upheld the citing complaint and decided the offence should have been punished with a sending-off.

A statement released by tournament organisers read: "In applying the sanction, it was considered that the stamp, contrary to Law 10.4(b), was in the mid-range of the IRB's sanctions for the type of offence.

"After hearing from Brian O'Driscoll and his representatives, a reduction of two weeks of mitigation was allowed, particularly taking into account the player's exemplary previous playing and disciplinary record.

"Brian O'Driscoll is suspended until 8 April 2013 and has the right of appeal."

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