Aviva Premiership
Hazell hit with 14-week suspension
ESPN Staff
October 25, 2012
Gloucester's Andy Hazell in action, London Irish v Gloucester, Guinness Premiership, Madejski Stadium, Reading, England, September 13, 2009
Andy Hazell has been hit with a lengthy suspension © Getty Images
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Gloucester flanker Andy Hazell has been given a 14-week ban following his red card against Mont de Marsan on October 11.

Hazell was dismissed after he punched and kneed the French club's prop Sebastien Ormaechea in the ill-tempered match. Ahead of the hearing and in support of the flanker, Gloucester submitted evidence to the disciplinary panel following Nigel Davies' post-match claim that foul play provoked Hazell's furious reaction.

But the independent disciplinary panel failed to find any evidence of foul play and Hazell has been hit with a lengthy ban. Hazell pleaded guilty "to striking Ormaechea", according to the statement released by the body in charge of European rugby, and Gloucester boss Nigel Davies also spoke in support of the flanker.

But Hazell was found guilty of intentionally striking the prop "with both first and the knee" and was handed a 16-week suspension. A further two weeks were added due to Hazell's "failure to uphold the image of the game" but the 18-week sanction was reduced to 14 recognising the flanker's guilty plea.

The news means that the flanker is free to play on January 21, 2013, and both Gloucester and European Rugby Cup Ltd have the right to appeal the decision.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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