Azam guilty of eye 'gouging'
France international handed nine-week ban for cup final transgression
Last Updated: 08/05/09 8:48am
Gloucester hooker Olivier Azam has been banned until September 17 after being found guilty of eye 'gouging' by a Rugby Football Union (RFU) disciplinary panel.
The Frenchman was cited for 'making contact with the eyes or eye area' of Cardiff Blues' Jamie Roberts during the West Country club's 50-12 EDF Energy Cup final defeat in mid-April.
The charge was initially dismissed after it was ruled to have been submitted too late, but a subsequent RFU review decided the forward should be held to account.
A panel consisting of chairman Antony Davies, John Brennan and Bob Taylor opted to issue a nine-week punishment although, as the Cherry and Whites' season is effectively over after they failed to make the Guinness Premiership play-offs, it will have little immediate impact on the France international.