Gloucester's foul play evidence dismissed
October 16, 2012
Andy Hazell will face a disciplinary panel on Thursday week © Getty Images
The body in charge of European rugby has failed to find any evidence of foul play by a Mont de Marsan player during their ill-tempered Amlin Challenge Cup clash with Gloucester last Thursday.
The news means that Andy Hazell will face the disciplinary panel without any nailed on mitigating circumstances explaining why he unleashed a flurry of punches on Sebastien Ormaechea in the 55th minute of the match with video evidence also suggesting that he aimed his knee at the prop's head - an outburst which led to a red card.
Gloucester boss Nigel Davies hit out at the French team's conduct post-match and said that they'd speak to the citing officer regarding the treatment Hazell received before he snapped.
Davies alluded to a possible gouging as the reason behind Hazell's outburst saying: "The doctor's had a look at Andy's eye. It was severely sore and very red. And we took some pictures of that, because that was damning evidence in its own right. He's disappointed with himself, but I think there were three incidents before that with the same player and he's caught him off the ball again, and unfortunately Andy snapped."
But the citing officer failed to find any evidence of foul play despite Gloucester referring a number of incidents for his consideration. Hazell now faces a lengthy ban and if he is charged with "striking another player with the knee" then a top end offence would warrant a ban between 12 and 52 weeks. The Gloucester flanker will find out his fate on Thursday October 26.
In related news, three players have been cited following the first weekend of European action. In the Heineken Cup, Glasgow Warriors' Tom Seymour has been cited for an alleged dangerous tackle on Vasily Artemyev and Clermont Auvergne's Nathan Hines has been charged with stamping on the Scarlets' Morgan Stoddart. And in the Amlin Challenge Cup, Bordeaux-Begles' Sisa Koyamaibole has been charged with biting London Irish's Declan Danaher.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As Ray McLoughlin prepares to celebrate his 75th birthday, Huw Richards pays tribute to the man and the selectors who had the wisdom to bring him into the Ireland fold
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament