An Independent Appeal Committee sitting in Glasgow today (Tuesday, 2 February, 2010), allowed the appeal brought by Ospreys player Lee Byrne against the level of sanction imposed by an independent Disciplinary Hearing.
The appeal was against the level of sanction imposed by the original independent Disciplinary Hearing on Friday, 29 January, 2010, who had found Mr Byrne guilty of a Misconduct Complaint arising from the Heineken Cup round 6 match against Leicester Tigers at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, 23 January, 2010, in that he had re-entered the pitch without the referee's permission and that he knew or ought to have known that he needed that permission.
The Independent Appeal Committee, chaired by Rod McKenzie (Scotland) and also comprising Professor Lorne Crerar (Scotland) and Bill Dunlop (Scotland), found that Mr Byrne had demonstrated that the original decision had been in error and the sanction should be varied to a fine of €5,000.
Mr Byrne is free to play again.
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.
e) The full written decision of the Appeal Hearing will be made available on ercrugby.com/disciplinenews at a later date when the full written decisions for the Appeal hearing have been completed and issued to all parties.
The directors of ERC voted unanimously at a Board meeting to postpone all decisions including the release of further instalments of ERC's distributable central revenues to the six shareholder countries until 19 February next when the Board will meet again to reconsider the issue.