Bergamasco handed 13-week ban
February 27, 2008
Italy flanker Mauro Bergamasco has been banned for 13 weeks after being found guilty of gouging Wales' Lee Byrne eye during their Six Nations clash last weekend.
The incident happened towards the end of Wales' 47-8 win over the Azzurri in Cardiff on Saturday.
Following a citing by the independent Citing Commissioner, Bergamasco has been suspended from playing for thirteen weeks, from this weekend having been found, "to have deliberately placed his finger in the right eye of Lee Byrne, the Wales full back" during the Miullennium Stadium clash on Saturday.
Bergamasco's case was heard by a three-man Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Christopher Quinlan (England) and also comprising Dr. Barry O'Driscoll (Ireland) and Mike Rafter (England).
They considered the offence to merit an entry point in the mid range of sanctions laid down in the IRB Reg. 17 and took into account the player's admission of guilt and other mitigating factors.
The ban will start on March 3, the date the 28-year-old is expected to recover from a shoulder injury.
Bergamasco will be free to resume playing on 2nd June 2008, and has the right of appeal.
In related news, Italy lock Carlo Del Fava was today cleared by the same Disciplinary Committee after being cited for kneeing Wales fly-half Stephen Jones in the same game.
The Committee was not satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that the player committed the alleged act of foul play and therefore dismissed the citing.
Italy coach Nick Mallet had already left the pair out of his 22-man squad to face France in their next Six Nations Championship game on 9 March.
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