THE appeal by Delon Armitage of London Irish against his suspension of eight weeks for conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Game was tonight dismissed by a Disciplinary Appeal panel.

Armitage was found guilty on January 21 of pushing and using threatening and/or abusive and obscene language towards a Doping Control Officer from UK Anti-Doping during a routine test immediately after the Aviva Premiership game against Bath Rugby at the Madejski Stadium on January 1, 2011.

The appeal panel of Ian Unsworth QC (chair), Gareth Rees QC and Dr Julian Morris rejected his appeal and upheld the original suspension until March 16. He can play again on March 17.

Unsworth said: “We came to the conclusion that having regard to the seriousness of this matter and considering the aggravating and mitigating features that the decision and sanction reached by the original panel was fair, reasonable and one which they were entitled to.

“The Rugby Football Union attaches the highest importance to the fight against doping in sport and thus considers the work of UKAD to be important to the reputation of rugby and sport as a whole. The work of the Doping Control Officers is of crucial importance in this field and players should be aware of their obligations to comply with the reasonable requirements of those officers.

“Mr Armitage was aggressive, bullying, persistent and threatening. He subjected the Doping Control Officer to a volley of abuse and he deserved better than that.”