Russia's Valery Tsnobiladze has been suspended for three weeks.
Valery Tsnobiladze was cited by Independent Citing Commissioner Steve Hinds (New Zealand) under Law 10.4(a) for striking an opponent with the head during the Rugby World Cup 2011 Pool C match between Ireland and Russia in Rotorua on September 25.
At the hearing Valery Tsnobiladze denied he had committed an act of foul play.
Independent Judicial Officer Judge Jeff Blackett (England), having reviewed six angles of broadcast footage, heard evidence from the Player and read evidence from Ireland No.7 Sean O’Brien, and a technical presentation from Mr. Wiltshire representing the Player, determined that Valery Tsnobiladze had committed an act of foul play.
With respect to the sanction, the Judicial Officer concluded that this offence was categorised as being at the lower end of the scale of seriousness because the offence was reckless rather than deliberate, there was no injury to the victim player and there was no adverse effect on the match.
The low end entry point is a suspension of four weeks. The Judicial Officer found that there were no off-field aggravating factors and he reduced the sanction by one week from the entry point to reflect the player’s good record and character and his cooperation and good conduct with the disciplinary process prior to and at the hearing.
Valery Tsnobiladze is therefore suspended for a period of 3 weeks and is free to play again on October 17, 2011.
The Player has 48 hours from the time he is informed of the decision in which to appeal.