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Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Friday, 11 June 2010 16:17 UK

David Attoub has eye-gouging ban reduced

David Attoub
Attoub can return to action in December

Stade Francais prop David Attoub's 70-week suspension for eye-gouging has been reduced to 52 weeks.

In January, Attoub was found guilty of gouging Ulster's Stephen Ferris during a Heineken Cup tie last December.

European Rugby Cup upheld the ruling in March, but Attoub appealed to France's National Olympic Committee (CNOSF).

And the French Rugby Federation (FFR) has accepted CNOSF's decision to cut the ban by 18 weeks, meaning Attoub can play again on 18 December this year.

"David Attoub could be eligible again at national level from 18 December, 2010 instead of 23 April, 2011 on condition that he follows the FFR example and also accepts this conciliation proposal," read an FFR statement.


Despite the ban being reduced, it remains the second longest in union's history for a gouging offence, exceeded only by Colomiers prop Richard Nones's two-year suspension in 1999.

When delivering the original ruling, judicial officer Jeff Blackett said the incident, which occurred during Stade's 23-13 loss to Ulster at Ravenhill, "was the worst act of contact with the eyes" he had dealt with.

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see also
Attoub loses gouging ban appeal
04 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
Attoub launches gouge-ban appeal
22 Jan 10 |  Rugby Union
Dupuy ban shortened by one week
14 Jan 10 |  Rugby Union
Dupuy handed 24-week gouging ban
18 Dec 09 |  Irish
Stade duo cited over gouge claims
14 Dec 09 |  Irish
Ulster 23-13 Stade Francais
12 Dec 09 |  Irish

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