Rugby Union

Brian O'Driscoll given three-week ban

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The 34-year-old seemed to deliberately stamp on flanker Simone Favaro during the first half of Ireland's match against Italy, an act he received a yellow card for.

An independant disciplinary committee in London found him guilty of the offence and issued the ban.

The suspension means the Irishman will miss Leinster's Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final against the Wasps on April 5, as well as two Pro12 league matches.

The ban finishes three days after the quarter-final and he will then be able to play for Leinster in the push for the Pro12 title.  They are currently in third position and look like they will be involved in the end-of-season playoffs.

O'Driscoll, believed to be playing his final Test for Ireland on his 125th appearance, was sent to the sin-bin after he stood on Favaro's chest, who yelled out in pain.

A statement released by tournament organisers read: "In applying the sanction, it was considered that the stamp, contrary to Law 10.4(b), was in the mid range of the IRB's sanctions for the type of offence.

"After hearing from Brian O'Driscoll and his representatives, a reduction of two weeks of mitigation was allowed, particularly taking into account the player's exemplary previous playing and disciplinary record.

"Brian O'Driscoll is suspended until 8 April 2013 and has the right of appeal."

Rugby Union
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