Sunday 20 October 2019

Watch: Cheetahs player Nico Lee banned for 13 week for 'clearing the contents of his nose into the face' of Connacht flanker

Nico Lee of Toyota Cheetahs in action against Connacht. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Nico Lee of Toyota Cheetahs in action against Connacht. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Cheetah's centre Nico Lee has been banned for 13 weeks after breaching Law 9.27 – A player must not do anything that is against the spirit of good sportsmanship.

The player was reported by the Citing Commissioner for an incident in the 64th minute of Connacht's victory over the South African side at the weekend.

Lee admitted that he had 'cleared the contents of his nose onto the face of an opposing player thereby committing an act of foul play'.

The Connacht player involved was flanker Colby Fainga’a.

The Disciplinary Committee found that: “The Player’s actions are an act of foul play. They have no place in the game. This is not a case of over-exuberance, or an act which is within the rules of the game going awry. It follows that by its nature this act is one that is deserving of punishment. It is contrary to the spirit of sport.”

“The effect on the victim player was understandably serious. There is no expectation, and there ought never be an expectation, that an opposing player would clear the contents of their nose onto an opponent.”

The Committee deemed that the offence merited a red card with a top-end offence with an entry point of 26 weeks.

In reaching that conclusion the Panel found that: “It is difficult to imagine how an act of foul play of this sort could be worse, save for repeated acts or where actual injury is caused.”

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The panel halved the ban after taking into account admission of facts, and his clean disciplinary record.

He is free to play from midnight on Sunday, July 21.

Lee issued a grovelling apology through his club's Twitter page.

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