English Rugby
Date set for Armitage appeal
ESPNscrum Staff
February 4, 2011
London Irish's Delon Armitage is caught in full flight, Harlequins v London Irish, Aviva Premiership, Twickenham Stadium, London, England, December 27
Delon Armitage has the backing of his club London Irish. © Getty Images

England fullback Delon Armitage will have his appeal against an eight-week ban for pushing an anti-doping officer heard in London on February 10.

Armitage, 27, was suspended until March 16 - ruling him out of the majority of the Six Nations Championship - for pushing and verbally abusing an anti-doping officer after London Irish's Aviva Premiership defeat to Bath on January 1.

The case was without precedent in England. The Rugby Football Union's chief disciplinary officer Judge Jeff Blackett equated the offence to abuse of a match official and branded Armitage's behaviour as "completely unacceptable".

London Irish confirmed Armitage's intent to appeal on January 20, claiming the sanction was "disproportionate". The club statement said: "Delon does not accept the incident is analogous to abuse of a match official and he believes that applying a tariff to on-field offences, when this was an incident largely in the privacy of the dressing room, has resulted in the imposition of a disproportionate sanction."

The three-man appeals panel will be chaired by Ian Unsworth QC and includes Gareth Rees QC and Dr Julian Morris.

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