An independent Appeal Committee today (Thursday, 30 April, 2009), dismissed the appeal brought by Alesana Tuilagi, the Leicester Tigers wing (No 11), against the decision of an independent Disciplinary Committee.
The independent Appeal Committee, chaired by Professor Lorne Crerar (Scotland) and also comprising Rod McKenzie (Scotland) and John West (Ireland), found that Alesana Tuilagi had not demonstrated that the original decision had been in error, or that it should be overturned or varied, and accordingly the Appeal Committee dismissed the appeal and upheld the suspension imposed on the player of four (4) weeks.
The independent Appeal Committee heard submissions made on behalf of Alesanan Tuilagi and ERC's Disciplinary Officer before retiring to deliberate on the case.
The appeal was against the decision of the original independent Disciplinary Committee (Thursday, 23 April, 2009) which found Mr Tuilagi guilty of foul play in that he had played Nick Abendanon without the ball in contravention of Law 10.4 (f) in the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Bath Rugby at the Walkers Stadium on Saturday, 11 April, 2009.
He is free to play on Friday, 22 May.
Independent Appeal Committee
a) Following a decision of an independent Disciplinary Committee, both the Club/player and ERC have the right to appeal the decision of the Committee.
b) The independent Appeal Committee is chosen by the Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Panel, Professor Lorne Crerar.
c) None of the members of the independent Disciplinary Committee who issued the decision being challenged in the appeal may sit on the independent Appeal Committee.
d) )The full written decision of the independent Appeal Committee will be available on www.ercrugby.com/discipline when the disciplinary process is complete.
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.