An Independent Appeal Committee sitting at Heathrow today (Wednesday, 13 January 2010), allowed the appeal brought by Julien Dupuy, the Stade Français Paris player, against the level of sanction imposed by an independent Judicial Officer.
The appeal was against the level of sanction imposed by the original independent Judicial Officer (Friday, 18 December 2009) who had found Mr Dupuy guilty of an act contrary to good sportsmanship in contravention of Law 10.4(l) in that he made contact with the eye / eye area of Stephen Ferris (Ulster Rugby) in the Heineken Cup Pool 4 match against Ulster Rugby at Ravenhill, Belfast, on Saturday, 12 December 2009 and that the offence was at the top end in the level of seriousness. The original sanction was a suspension of 24 weeks.
The independent Appeal Committee, chaired by Professor Lorne Crerar (Scotland) and also comprising Rod McKenzie (Scotland) and Pat Barriscale (Ireland), found that Mr Dupuy had demonstrated that the original decision had been in error only in a limited and technical manner, by taking into account the need for deterrence when determining entry point rather than as an aggravating factor. The independent Appeal Committee agreed with the independent Judicial Officer that the offence was at the top end in the level of seriousness but determined that the original decision should be varied by reducing the suspension by one week to a period of 23 weeks.
He will be free to play on 27th May 2010.
Independent Appeal Committee
a) Following a decision of an independent Disciplinary Hearing, both the Club/player and ERC have the right to appeal the decision of the Judicial Officer.
b) The initial independent Disciplinary Hearings are determined by an independent Judicial Officer. Appeal Hearings are determined by a three man independent Appeal Committee.
c) The independent Appeal Committee is chosen by the Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Panel, Professor Lorne Crerar.
d) The independent Judicial Officer who issued the decision being challenged may not sit on the independent Appeal Committee.