The International Rugby Board has moved quickly to investigate the circumstances that led to Perpignan hooker Marius Tincu playing for his club in a Top 14 match last Saturday despite being suspended from all levels of the Game until March 9.
The IRB has asked the Fédération Française de Rugby (FFR) to submit a complete record of the events, decisions and procedures that resulted in the apparent breach of sanction and Tincu taking to the field against Castres Olympique. On receipt of the report the IRB will decide on the appropriate course of action.
Tincu was originally suspended for 18 weeks after an Independent Disciplinary Committee found the player guilty of foul play during the Round 2 Heineken Cup Pool 3 match against the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, 18 October, 2008. A subsequent appeal against the suspension imposed upon the player was dismissed by an ERC Committee of Appeal on November 14.
The universal application of sanctions is a key element of the Rugby specific sanctioning regime developed to cater for the unique characteristics of the Sport and remains in operation under IRB and Rugby regulations worldwide.
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.