It’s snot rugby as Cheetahs player banned for 13 weeks

Toyota Cheetahs centre Nico Lee has received a 13-week ban after he “cleared the contents of his nose” into the face of Connacht flanker Colby Fainga’a.

Lee was cited following the incident, which happened during South Africa-based Cheetahs’ Guinness Pro14 game in Galway last Saturday.

He was reported under Law 9.27 – a player must not do anything that is against the spirit of good sportsmanship.

A three-man disciplinary committee concluded that Lee had committed an intentional act of foul play.

In a statement, PRO14 organisers said: “With regard to the offence, the player accepted that he had cleared the contents of his nose on to the face of an opposing player, thereby committing an act of foul play.”

The panel, meanwhile, found: “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.

“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.”

The panel decided it was a red card offence with a top-end entry point of 26 weeks’ suspension, but they applied 50% mitigation in respect to Lee’s admission of facts and his clean disciplinary record.

Lee, who issued an apology via the official club Twitter account, has been suspended until 21 July, taking into account the rugby calendar for the rest of this season and domestic fixtures in South Africa.

Cheetahs’ last Pro14 regular season game is against Southern Kings on April 27. They are currently sixth in the Conference A table, but have an outside chance of making the play-offs, which Lee would also miss.


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Publish date : 2019-02-20 16:30:29

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