The independent Judicial Officer, Pat Barriscale (Ireland), heard evidence and submissions from Young, who pleaded not guilty to the complaint, and from Young's legal representative, Ray Tully. In addition, the Judicial Officer heard evidence and submissions from Leicester Tigers Executive Director, Peter Wheeler, and ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O'Connor. Leicester Tigers Chief Executive, Simon Cohen, was also present at the hearing.
The Judicial Officer upheld the citing complaint, concluding that Young had committed an act which was reckless rather than deliberate. Employing the IRB recommended sanctions for Law 10.4(m), he decided that the offence was at the low-end entry point of twelve (12) weeks, and having taken into account the player's excellent record and exemplary conduct during the hearing, he granted the player mitigation of four (4) weeks, and imposed a suspension of eight (8) weeks.
Young will be free to play on Monday, 19 March. Both the player and ERC have the right to appeal the decision.
Law 10.4(m) Acts contrary to good sportsmanship; contact with the eyes or eye area
Under the IRB Recommended Sanctions for Offences Committed within the Playing Enclosure, Law 10.4(m) contact with the eyes or the eye area, carries the following penalties: Low End: 12 weeks; Mid Range: 18 weeks; Top End: 24+ to 156 weeks.
NOTES TO EDITORS
i) Citing Commissioner
a) Citing Commissioners are appointed by ERC for all Heineken Cup and all televised Amlin Challenge Cup matches and shall be entitled to cite a Player for any act or acts of Foul Play that in the Citing Commissioner's opinion warranted a citing.
b) For such matches Clubs will not have the power to cite a player but may refer incidents to the Citing Commissioner within 24 hours of the conclusion of the match.
c) The Citing Commissioner will have 50 hours from the start of the game to make a citing. In exceptional circumstances this deadline can be extended.
d) The ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O'Connor,may forward the submitted Citing to a Citing Officer to determine whether there are sufficient grounds for the citing to progress.
e) The Disciplinary Officer will then bring a charge against the cited player.
ii) Disciplinary Hearing
a) Citing hearings will be heard by an independent Judicial Officer as soon as is practicable. Until the hearing a cited player is eligible to play in ERC tournaments.
b) The independent Judicial Officer is chosen by the Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Panel, Professor Lorne Crerar.
c) ERC's Disciplinary Officer, Roger O'Connor, presents the case against the player
d) Both parties to the hearing (ERC and the player) have the right to appeal decisions of the independent Disciplinary Hearing. Appeals must be lodged within 3 business days of receiving the full written decision from the Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Committee.