Toulouse player Gareth Thomas appeared before an independent Disciplinary Committee in Dublin today.

Toulouse player Gareth Thomas appeared before an independent Disciplinary Committee in Dublin today (Thursday, 1 February, 2007) to answer a misconduct complaint arising from the Round 6 Heineken Cup Pool 5 match against Ulster Rugby at Stade Ernest Wallon on Sunday, 21 January.

The player answered a misconduct complaint under the Heineken Cup 2006 / 2007 Disciplinary Rules, in that he allegedly engaged in aggressive exchanges with spectators and / or aggressively attempted to enter one of the seating areas and / or made an offensive hand gesture towards spectators.

The independent Disciplinary Committee, chaired by HHJ Jeff Blackett (England) and also comprising Rod McKenzie (Scotland) and Achille Reali (Italy), found Mr. Thomas guilty of Misconduct under the Heineken Cup Disciplinary Rules 2006 / 2007 in that he:

·         aggressively attempted to enter one of the seating areas of the stadium; and

·         made an offensive hand gesture (namely a raised middle finger) toward spectators (by his own admission)

The Committee found Mr. Thomas not guilty of engaging in aggressive exchanges with spectators.

The independent Disciplinary Committee imposed a sanction of four weeks suspension on Mr Thomas from 1 February 2007 up to and including 28 February 2007 and a fine of 7,500 euro.  The player will be available to play again on 1 March.

Both parties have the right to appeal.

NB: The full written decision of the independent Disciplinary Committee is now available on www.ercrugby.com/discipline