LONDON, 23 Sept Mariano Galarza of Argentina has been suspended for nine weeks for 'acts contrary to good sportsmanship' contrary to Law 10.4(m).
Following a review of all camera angles, Galarza was cited by Independent Citing Commissioner Murray Whyte (Ireland) under Law 10.4(m) for making "contact with the eye or eye area" of Brodie Retallick in the Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool C match against New Zealand at Wembley Stadium on 20 September.
Galarza denied the act of foul play. Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from Retallick, the player and submissions from his representatives, the Judicial Officer Christopher Quinlan QC (England) upheld the citing on the basis that the player had committed the act of foul play.
In its Memorandum on "Contact with the Eyes or Eye Area" dated 10 July, 2009 the then-IRB stated, "judicial personnel should note the IRB's concerns with regard to the increasing number of incidents of this insidious form of foul play and in all proven cases where appropriate impose a condign sanction which clearly denunciates the player's conduct."
With respect to the sanction, the Judicial Officer deemed the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point of 12 weeks. Due to the need to deter such acts of foul play, he added an additional period of one week. However, taking into account mitigating factors including his excellent disciplinary record, the Judicial Officer reduced the suspension to a period of nine weeks.
The suspension takes effect immediately. It includes the player's remaining matches at Rugby World Cup 2015 and thereafter converts to weeks with his club Gloucester Rugby. The sanction will run up to and include 25 November, 2015. He is free to resume playing on 26 November, 2015.
The player has 48 hours in which to appeal from the time he receives the written decision. The full judgment will be available within the next 24 hours.