Monday, August 24, 2009
Stade Francais centre Mathieu Bastareaud returned to action last weekend in the Top 14, playing for the first time since the New Zealand tour drama with France.
The 21 year old had a troubled few months after he lied about being mugged while on tour in New Zealand, resulting in him being sent home and the truth later being revealed following an admission that he actually just fell over when drunk.
He is now facing the possibility of a lengthy international ban, between one to three years, which will be decided on by the French Rugby Federation next month.
French team mate Thierry Dusautoir is pleading for leniency stating that he feels the young man has been sufficiently punished already.
If he lied, I think he has been sufficiently punished for that, he said. This affair has been taken out of proportion. It would be good that we left it there.
I also think that in saying what he said, he was far from imagining the consequences of this lie and that he was taken over by the events, said Dusautoir.
He returned to action last weekend coming on as a substitute against Toulon in the opening round of the French championship, the Top 14.
He made a few bullocking runs and put in a great tackle on Sinoti Sinoti. Against Bayonne on Friday, Bastareaud once again got stuck in, coming on as a sub and dumping Craig Gower.
Whether Bastareaud plays for France again in the near future or not remains to be seen.
When you consider that players who take drugs get 9 months, those who stick fingers in eyes get 8 months, and those who blatantly cheat end up with 4 months, a lengthy ban for telling a lie, off the field, seems pretty harsh.
Toulon draw with Stade Francais in Top 14 opener
Mathieu Bastareaud admits he lied about being assaulted in New Zealand