USA's Paul Emerick suspended for five weeks

(Rugby News Service) Tuesday 11 September 2007
 USA's Paul Emerick suspended for five weeks
Suspended: USA's Paul Emerick leaves the judicial hearing in Paris with his advisers

PARIS, 11 SEPTEMBER - Following a RWC 2007 judicial hearing the Judicial Officer (JO) Professor Lorne Crerar upheld the citing complaint and determined that USA centre Paul Emerick was guilty of a dangerous tackle on England fly half Olly Barkley.

The JO considered that the offence was intentional, that there was a deliberate tipping motion in the tackle with an element of force driving the opposing player in a downward motion. This led to the opposing player being stunned immediately after the tackle, that he was vulnerable and unable to protect his position.

The JO believed that the act was premeditated in the lifting and twisting of the opposing player and considered this to be a top end offence.

There were no aggravating factors, however there were several mitigating factors including: the player's good record; the good behaviour of the player and his representatives from USA Rugby at the hearing; and the fact that the player has shown remorse in relation to the incident.

As a top end offence it carries a 10+ week suspension. However, the JO decided that in this case the suspension would be for five weeks in light of the mitigating factors.

The player has 48 hours in which to appeal the decision.

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