Discipline Panel

Scottish Rugby's independent disciplinary panel handed Hawick YM prop, Martin Punter, the equivalent of a 28 week playing suspension - up to and including 25 January 2009 - at a hearing last night. This followed the panel's consideration of a citing complaint from Kirkcaldy that the player had verbally abused one or more opposing players on the basis of race during the Scottish Hydro Electric Shield Quarter-Final match on Saturday 12 April at Mansfield Haugh.Scottish Rugby's independent disciplinary panel handed Hawick YM prop, Martin Punter, the equivalent of a 28 week playing suspension - up to and including 25 January 2009 - at a hearing last night.

This followed the panel's consideration of a citing complaint from Kirkcaldy that the player had verbally abused one or more opposing players on the basis of race during the Scottish Hydro Electric Shield Quarter-Final match on Saturday 12 April at Mansfield Haugh.

Scottish Rugby's Head of Community Rugby Colin Thomson, said: "we would like to make it clear that there is no room for racism in Scottish Rugby."

Verbal abuse is contrary to IRB law 10.4(k) - an act contrary to good sportsmanship.

The recommended IRB sanction for racial abuse is between four and 52 weeks.

Hawick YM had earlier suspended the player from all involvement with the club for a period of 12 weeks.