Clermont flanker Kolelishvili banned for 14 weeks

Clermont Auvergne flanker Viktor Kolelishvili has been slapped with a 14 week ban for shoving match referee Wayne Barnes out of his way in last weekend’s match against the Ospreys.

An independent Disciplinary Hearing in Paris has found Kolelishvili guilty of the offence and suspended him until the end of April.

Kolelishivili was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, Mike Rafter (England), for pushing the match referee, Wayne Barnes (England), in the 17th minute of the European Rugby Champions Cup Round 5 fixture against the Ospreys at Liberty Stadium on Friday, 15 January 2016 in contravention of Law 10.4 (m).

Law 10.4 (m) Physical abuse of match officials
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (m), Physical abuse of match officials, carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 24 weeks; Mid-Range: 48 weeks; Top End: 96 weeks to life

The independent Judicial Officer, David Martin (Ireland), heard evidence and submissions from Kolelishvili, who pleaded guilty to the offence, from ASM Clermont Auvergne Team Manager, Neil McIlroy, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

In upholding the citing complaint, the Judicial Officer found that Kolelishvili had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card. He determined that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby’s sanctions and selected 24 weeks as the appropriate entry point.

He added two weeks due to the player’s poor disciplinary record before reducing the sanction by half of the entry point taking into account Kolelishvili’s immediate apology to the referee, his subsequent remorse, guilty plea and good conduct at the hearing. He then imposed a suspension of 14 weeks.

Kolelishvili is free to play on Monday, 25 April 2016. Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

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