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Armitage ban reduced

Toulon full-back Delon Armitage has had his 12-week ban for using abusive language reduced to eight on appeal.

Armitage was found to have directed a foul-mouthed tirade at Leicester supporters in the aftermath of Toulon's 25-21 Champions Cup defeat at Welford Road on December 7.

A European Club Rugby statement read: "An independent Appeal Committee has today upheld an appeal by Delon Armitage against the 12-week suspension imposed on him for misconduct."

The three-man appeal panel that met in London on Thursday delayed their verdict until Friday evening.

The statement continued: "The Appeal Committee found that the independent Disciplinary Committee had made an error in how they determined the period of the appropriate sanction for the misconduct and moved to impose a suspension of eight weeks on the player.

The suspension will now run from 17 December 2014 until 8 February 2015, therefore Armitage will be free to play on 9 February 2015."

After the reigning European champions had lost to Leicester, Armitage made a number of comments within earshot of spectators - including children - using foul and abusive language.

In a damning verdict released by the hearing that imposed the 12-week suspension, the former England international was found to be ''an habitual offender'' with ''an appalling disciplinary record''.

Armitage was banned for eight weeks in 2011 after a misconduct complaint for using threatening and/or abusive language towards an anti-doping official was upheld and he has also been suspended on three separate occasions for incidents of foul play on the pitch.


From Belfast Telegraph