The case raised the issue of whether the panel should reconsider the sanction imposed a week earlier for punching or striking contrary to Law 9.12. The panel had previously imposed a four week ban, which was reduced from the entry point sanction of six weeks in light of mitigating factors (including the player acknowledging guilt and showing remorse). At the reconvened hearing, the panel considered that the credit given for the mitigating factors had been given on a false premise as the tweet (and player’s evidence) demonstrated that the player did not genuinely believe he was guilty, nor was remorseful. The sanction was therefore increased to six weeks.
The player was also charged with conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game and the RFU. The player received a separate two week ban which the panel determined, taking into account the overall proportionality of the sanction, should run concurrently with the six week sanction.
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Kendrah Potts is a leading sports law barrister with extensive experience of commercial disputes and disciplinary matters in the sports sector, particularly in the fields of match-fixing, anti-doping and charges of bringing the game into disrepute. In Chambers & Partners 2017 Kendrah was described as having “an excellent insight into all matters of sports law.”