Racism suspension handed out
A rugby player has been suspended for 18 weeks after being found guilty of racially abusing an opponent.
Telford Hornets centre Martin Rudd had denied the charge, which stemmed from an incident in a Midlands Four West North match against Market Drayton on January 28.
Market Drayton subsequently left the field, forcing the referee to abandon the match.
Rudd was found guilty at a Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing in Coventry on Tuesday evening and banned from playing until June 2.
His Honour Judge Sean Enright, the chairman of the disciplinary panel, said: "Racism has no part in the game. We are utterly determined to stamp it out when it appears."
Market Drayton have been deducted 20 league points after being found guilty of misconduct for leaving the field.
The RFU disciplinary panel ruled the match should be recorded as a 0-0 draw, with no match points awarded.
The penalty drops Market Drayton from 32 down to 12 points, level with St Leonards. There is then a 10-point gap to the league's bottom club Rugeley.