Tuesday 20 March 2018

Committee uphold Attoub's 70-week ban for Ferris gouge

Stade Francais prop David Attoub has lost his appeal against a 70-week ban for eye-gouging in a Heineken Cup game against Ulster last December.

"The Independent Appeal Committee found that Attoub had not demonstrated that the original decision had been in error and therefore dismissed the appeal," European Club Rugby said in a statement. The suspension ends on April 22 next year.

Attoub (28), who won his only cap for France in 2006, was suspended for gouging flanker Stephen Ferris in a pool match won 23-13 by Ulster in Belfast.

After the first hearing on January 19, the independent judicial officer Jeff Blackett said he had found "the offence was at the top end in the level of seriousness".

He also said he taken into account the fact that the player had already been suspended three times in the past and sanctioned for a similar offence in the 2004-2005 season.

Attoub's team-mate Julien Dupuy was handed a six-month ban for also gouging Ferris during the same game.

That sanction has been reduced from 24 to 23 weeks by the appeal committee.

Elsewhere, Martin Johnson has confirmed that Simon Shaw and Delon Armitage are both unlikely to be fit for England's Calcutta Cup clash with Scotland at Murrayfield on March 13.

Shaw damaged his shoulder just four minutes into England's 20-16 defeat to Ireland last weekend and Armitage was forced out of the action with rib cartilage damage.

"Delon's rib injury is difficult to call when he will be fit but he and Simon are progressing very well," said Johnson.

"We will know more next week but it is likely, particularly Simon, that they will be ruled out.

"Guys heal at different rates, particularly with ribs. It can be weeks, months or days."

Irish Independent

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