Thursday 19 October 2017

Sporting stars pay the price for baring their teeth in the heat of battle

Conor George

Conor George

In rugby, a biting offence carries a low-end entry point of a 12-week suspension, with 18 weeks for mid-range and 24-plus weeks at the top end in the International Rugby Board's disciplinary sanctions table. The maximum ban is a four-year punishment.

During the 2012 Six Nations, England's Dylan Hartley (above) was cited for biting Ireland's Stephen Ferris' finger. The hooker was found guilty and banned for eight weeks.

South African rugby player Johan Le Roux bit New Zealand's Sean Fitzpatrick's ear during a scrum in 1994. After learning of his lengthy suspension, Le Roux said: "For an 18-month suspension, I feel I probably should have torn it off."

In 2001, Sevilla's Francisco Gallardo celebrated a team-mate's goal by biting on the team-mate's genitals in the ensuing pile-up. The Royal Spanish Football Federation suspended and fined him for violating "sporting dignity and decorum".

Gallardo said: "I am sure I didn't offend anyone. I don't think what I did was very noteworthy."

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez (left) was hit with a 10-match ban in April for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic. In 1997, Mike Tyson (above) bit Evander Holyfield's ear during their world heavyweight title fight. Tyson's boxing licence was revoked for a year and he was fined $3m.

Irish Independent

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