18 May, 15:44
It's down to the wire now for the five contenders who have been shortlisted for the ultimate individual accolade in northern hemisphere rugby, ERC European Player of the Year 2013.
The independent Disciplinary Committee was chaired by Robert HP Williams (Wales) and also comprised Pat Barriscale (Ireland) and Dr Stuart Reary (Scotland).
Over the three-day hearing, (Thursday 2, July, Friday, 3 July and today) the Committee heard submissions from representatives of ERC and Harlequins and from a number of witnesses as well as considering further evidence that included broadcast footage from the game.
The independent Disciplinary Committee found that the Club (Harlequins) and Mr Tom Williams were guilty of Misconduct under the Heineken Cup 2008/09 Disciplinary Rules by fabricating a wound or blood injury in order to allow Nick Evans (No 10) to return to the field of play.
It was the view of the Committee that this was a very serious offence and one that damaged the reputation of the tournament and of Rugby Union, and accordingly the Committee imposed a fine of 250,000 euro on Harlequins, of which 50% is suspended for two years. The Committee also suspended Mr Williams from playing rugby for period of 12 months up to and including 19, July 2010.
The independent Disciplinary Committee dismissed Misconduct Complaints against Dean Richards, Harlequins Director of Rugby and a Doctor and Physiotherapist.
Both parties have the right to appeal.
Independent Disciplinary Committee / Misconduct Hearings
a) The independent Disciplinary Committee is chosen by the Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Panel, Professor Lorne Crerar.
b) The ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O'Connor, presents the case against the club / individual
c) Both parties to the hearing (ERC and the club / individual) have the right to appeal decisions of the independent Disciplinary Committee. Appeals must be lodged within 72 hours of receiving the full written decision from the Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Committee
d) The full written decision of the independent Disciplinary Committee will be available on www.ercrugby.com/disciplinenews when the disciplinary process is complete.