Stade Francais scrumhalf, Jerome Fillol, has been suspended for fourteen weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin today arising from the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final match against Bath Rugby on Saturday.
Fillol was alleged to have committed an act contrary to good sportsmanship in that he spat at the Bath Rugby player, Peter Stringer (No 9), during the first half of the match at the Recreation Ground. The complaint was made by the match Citing Commissioner, Eugene Ryan (Ireland).
10.4(m) Acts contrary to good sportsmanship. A player must not do anything that is against the spirit of good sportsmanship in the enclosure.
Under the IRB Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4(m), spitting at a player, carries the following sanction entry points: Low End: 4 weeks; Mid Range: 7 weeks; Top End: 11+ to 52 weeks.
The independent Judicial Officer, Anthony Davis (England), heard evidence and submissions from Fillol, who pleaded guilty, from the Stade Francais Paris secrétaire général, Cédric Boudarel, and from the club’s legal counsel. The Judicial Officer also heard submissions from ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O’Connor, and considered written evidence from Peter Stringer.
The Judicial officer found that Fillol had spat in the face of Stringer and that it had been an intentional, deliberate and grave act.
He determined that the act warranted a top-end entry point from the IRB’s Sanctions for spitting and considered that 26 weeks, from the available range of 11 to 52 weeks, was the appropriate entry point.
The Judicial Officer identified no aggravating factors, and after taking into account compelling mitigating factors, which included the genuine remorse expressed by the player at the hearing, as well as his exemplary record and strong character references, the Judicial Officer applied mitigation of 12 weeks, before imposing a sanction a 14 weeks.
The suspension will take into account the closed season and will therefore cover a 10-week period from 6 April to 16 June 2013 and a further four weeks from 15 July to 11 August 2013 in addition to the closed-season period.
Fillol is free to play on 12 August. Both the player and ERC have the right to appeal the decision.