10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
A statement issued this evening by ERC Ltd read;
The independent Judicial Tribunal today (Friday, 11 July, 2003) delivered its decision on the case of Munster player Frankie Sheahan, who had been charged by ERC with a doping offence under the Heineken Cup 2002/2003 Anti-Doping Programme.
The charge was based on the presence of a Prohibited Substance (Salbutamol) in a sample collected from the player after the Heineken Cup semi-final between Toulouse and Munster on 26 April, 2003.
On Monday, 7 July, 2003, the Tribunal, which comprised Professor Lorne Crerar (Chairman), Professor Donald MacLeod and Mr Peter Brown, heard submissions from ERC, from the player and his legal team and then reserved its decision pending further deliberation.
Today the independent Judicial Tribunal announced its decision.
The Tribunal found that the levels of Salbutamol found in the A and B samples of the player were 1,644ng/ml and 1,764ng/ml respectively and these were admitted by the player. The Tribunal also found that the player's level of the Prohibited Substance (Salbutamol) was 20 times higher in the sample collected after the semi-final Toulouse game, compared with a sample collected from the player after the quarter-final game against Leicester. The Tribunal found that it "cannot with conscience conclude that the player has satisfied us, on the balance of probabilities, that he administered himself with only eight puffs of ventolin containing Salbutamol for the purpose of properly treating and/or preventing his asthma and/or exercise-induced asthma."
The independent Judicial Tribunal imposed a two-year suspension upon Mr Sheahan. Taking into account Mr Sheahan's suspension to date, the Tribunal determined that he would be suspended from taking part in the game of rugby up to and including 30 May, 2005.
The player has 14 days to lodge an appeal with ERC.