Rugby World Cup 2011
Russia hooker banned for headbutt
ESPNscrum Staff
September 28, 2011
Russian hooker Valery Tsnobiladze receives treatment, Taranaki XV v Russia, Tikorangi Park, New Plymouth, New Zealand, January 15, 2011
© Getty Images

Valery Tsnobiladze's Rugby World Cup appears to be over after the Russia hooker was hit with a three-week suspension for striking an opponent.

Tsnobiladze was cited for an incident during Sunday's 62-12 by Ireland in Rotorua in which he appeared to headbutt flanker Sean O'Brien but, at his disciplinary hearing, denied having done so.

However, Independent Judicial Officer Judge Jeff Blackett, deemed the player guilty of an act of foul play after reviewing six different angles of broadcast footage and dissecting the evidence provided by both Tsnobiladze and O'Brien.

The offence was categorised as being at the lower end of the scale of seriousness, for which the low end entry point is a four-week suspension. However, Blackett reduced the ban by a week on account of the player's good disciplinary record.

Tsnobiladze will now miss his country's final game in Pool C, against Australia on Saturday. However, he does have 48 hours to appeal. The Player has 48 hours from the time he is informed of the decision in which to appeal.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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