Jamie Cudmore, the ASM Clermont Auvergne player (No 4), appeared at the ERC Offices in Dublin today (Wednesday, 13 October), for a disciplinary hearing before an independent judicial officer as a result of a citing complaint arising from the Round 1 Heineken Cup match between ASM Clermont Auvergne and Saracens at Stade Marcel Michelin on Saturday, 9 October.
The citing complaint was for kicking / stamping / trampling in contravention of Laws 10.4(b) and 10.4(c). In particular, Mr Cudmore was alleged to have kicked and / or stamped and/or trampled on Saracens flanker Jacques Burger (No 6).
Mr Cudmore pleaded not guilty to the citing complaint. After considering the evidence and hearing submissions from Mr Cudmore and Roger O’Connor, ERC’s Disciplinary Officer, the independent judicial officer, Simon Thomas (Wales) determined that Mr Cudmore had committed an act of stamping and imposed a suspension of 10 weeks. Mr Cudmore will be free to play again on Monday, 20 December, 2010.
Under the Disciplinary Rules for the 2010/11 Heineken Cup, independent judicial officers are required to follow the sanctioning regime laid down by the International Rugby Board. Accordingly, having found that Mr Cudmore had committed an act of foul play, the independent judicial officer was required to determine the ‘entry point’ for Mr Cudmore’s suspension, based on an assessment of the seriousness of his actions.
The possible ‘entry points’ for stamping under Law 10.4(b) are lower end: two (2) weeks; mid-range: five (5) weeks; and top end: nine (9) weeks or more. Having determined the appropriate ‘entry point’, the independent judicial officer was then required to consider whether that ‘entry point’ should be varied to take into account any mitigating factors (such as the player’s conduct, remorse and plea) and any aggravating factors (such as his previous disciplinary record and any need for deterrence).
In this case, the independent judicial officer determined that the appropriate ‘entry point’ was top end and merited nine (9) weeks based on (among other things) the intentional nature of the offence and on the injuries sustained by Mr Burger. The independent judicial officer then increased the suspension from the entry point to take into account Mr Cudmore’s previous disciplinary record, which resulted in the final suspension of 10 weeks.
The independent judicial officer ordered Mr Cudmore to pay the costs of the hearing.