Attoub hit with 70-week ban
STADE FRANCais prop David Attoub has been handed a massive 70-week ban after being found guilty of eye-gouging Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris during the province's 23-13 Heineken Cup victory over Stade last month.
The 28-year-old was found guilty of the offence last Friday but the sentencing was delayed until yesterday with Judge Jeff Blackett declaring: "This is the worst act of contact with the eyes that I have had to deal with: it is a case of deliberate eye-gouging."
Attoub was photographed with his fingers in Ferris' eye.
The ban means Attoub will not be available to play again until April 22, 2011. His team-mate Julien Dupuy was handed a 24-week ban, reduced to 23 on appeal, for his role in the incident.
The severity of the ban falls in line with an increasingly tough stance against gouging within the game following the furore over the eight-week ban handed to South Africa flanker Schalk Burger for his gouging of Lions wing Luke Fitzgerald during last year's second Test in Pretoria.