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Chabal handed 3-week ban for knockout punch

The former French star could have faced a 12-month suspension.

ICONIC FORMER FRENCH rugby international Sebastien Chabal was handed a three-week suspension for the punch that knocked out Agen’s Marc Giroud, his club Lyon revealed today.

The 36-year-old forward will miss Pro D2 matches against Carcassonne, Narbonne and Albi before being available again on January 27.

During the December 14 game with Agen, Chabal fired this punch at Giroud, who was holding onto his shirt at a breakdown and preventing him from attacking the ball:

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Chabal admitted he committed an act of “brutality” and arriving at his hearing added: “In any case, the (television) pictures prove I’m guilty.”

Giroud was knocked unconscious and had to be carried from the field on a stretcher before being taken to hospital for a medical check-up.

Chabal later apologised for his over-reaction saying it was “regrettable but a reflex action”.

Additional reporting by AFP.

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Steve O'Rourke

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