Attoub gets a 'lucky' break
Paris - French rugby chiefs have reached agreement with the National Olympic Committee (CNOSF) to reduce Stade Francais prop David Attoub's 70-week ban for eye-gouging in the European Cup to 52 weeks.
French Rugby Federation (FFR) president Pierre Camou told AFP on Thursday that they have accepted the the proposal made by CNOSF conciliators who were contacted by Attoub after his 70-week suspension by European Cup officials was confirmed.
"David Attoub could be eligible again at national level from December 18, 2010 instead of April 23, 2011 on condition that he follows the FFR example and also accepts this conciliation proposal," the FFR said in a statement.
The 28-year-old player was slapped with the ban for gouging Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris during Stade's 13-23 European Cup loss to Ulster in Belfast on December 12.
The ban, which applies to all International Rugby Board (IRB) competitions, is among the heaviest ever imposed on a player by rugby union authorities.
The toughest was a life ban, reduced to five years, for Irishman Trevor Brennan, who struck an Ulster supporter when playing for Toulouse against the province in 2007.