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Page last updated at 15:32 GMT, Friday, 18 April 2008 16:32 UK

Bergamasco gouging ban extended

Mauro Bergamasco
Mauro Bergamasco lost his appeal

Mauro Bergamasco has been hit with an increased ban for gouging Wales full-back Lee Byrne's eyes in their February Six Nations clash.

The Italy flanker lost his appeal against an initial 13-week ban and the disciplinary panel added four weeks to the term.

However, instead of running from March 3, the ban's start date is 26 February.

A statement read: "The committee found the offence merited a top-end entry point in the IRB list of sanctions."

606: DEBATE

Bergamasco employed a team of lawyers to fight his case and his appeal failure is likely to make future transgressors think twice about taking such action.

The Six Nations statement read: "Mauro Bergamasco, the Italy back row forward, has had his 13 week suspension increased to 17 weeks following his unsuccessful appeal against the original suspension.

"The three-man independent appeal committee rejected the player's appeal to reduce the sanction to a lower-end offence from the mid-range originally applied."

Byrne scored two of Wales' five tries against Italy at the Millennium Stadium on 23 February in a performance that earned him the man-of-the-match award.

The incident took place at the end of Wales' 47-8 win.


see also
Byrne signs new Ospreys contract
27 Feb 08 |  Ospreys
Try hero Williams puts team first
24 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
Toughest tests to come - Gatland
23 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
Wales 47-8 Italy
23 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
07 Aug 07 |  Wales
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment


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