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Last Updated: Monday, 11 June 2007, 14:31 GMT 15:31 UK
Brennan ban reduced to five years
Toulouse player Trevor Brennan (left)
Brennan struck Patrick Bamford during the game in January
Toulouse forward Trevor Brennan's life ban from playing rugby has been reduced to a five-year suspension.

In March, the European Rugby Cup (ERC) found Brennan guilty of assaulting an Ulster fan at a Heineken Cup game and he was handed the life ban.

However an independent appeals panel has ruled that the initial maximum penalty was "disproportionate".

The 33-year-old's ban from involvement in future ERC competitions has also been cut to a five-year suspension.

Both bans will be deemed to have started on 1 June 2007.

The former Irish international's appeal was heard by a three-man independent panel in Dublin earlier this month.

The disciplinary panel upheld the original 17,000 fine handed to Brennan plus the 3,000 in compensation that the former Irish international was ordered to pay to Ulster supporter Patrick Bamford.

The original ruling that Brennan must pay the costs of convening the ERC hearing also remains in place.

Brennan announced his retirement from the game prior to receiving the lifetime ban in March.

The appeals panel heard evidence from Brennan, the ERC's disciplinary officer and a number of character witnesses for the player.

The independent Appeal Committee was chaired by Wyn Williams QC (Wales) and also comprised Robert Horner (England) and Sheriff Bill Dunlop (Scotland).

Brennan had been accused of entering a seating area during Toulouse's 28-13 Heineken Cup victory over Ulster in January and punching a supporter.

Ulster supporter Bamford required medical treatment as a result of the incident.



SEE ALSO
Brennan facing fan legal action
07 Feb 07 |  Northern Ireland
Toulouse 28-13 Ulster
21 Jan 07 |  Ulster
Toulouse v Ulster photos
21 Jan 07 |  Photo Galleries


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