A review of the Chris Ashton disciplinary decision: lessons on sanctioning under RFU Regulation 19

Published 17 October 2018 By: Graham Gilbert

Rugby Tackle on white background

Amongst much hype, Chris Ashton returned to English club rugby earlier this year having spent the previous season playing for Toulon in the Top 14, breaking the divisions scoring record in the process1. The significance of the move back was plain: Ashton was making himself available to play for England once again and potentially reigniting an international career that had seemed over when he left Saracens for France. However, it was not long before Ashton made life difficult for himself by committing an act that resulted in a 7-week ban2.

This article reviews the Ashton decision (a copy of which is available here3), examining the rules he broke and how the sanction imposed came to be handed to him following a hearing on 23 August this year.


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Graham Gilbert

Graham Gilbert

Graham is a barrister at 3PB. Having gained a wealth of knowledge in other areas, Graham has most recently begun accepting instructions in sports law matters and has a keen interest in regulatory and disciplinary aspects of the area, both domestically and internationally. He regularly prosecutes in prohibited substance matters for the British Horseracing Authority, as well as assisting with other disciplinary matters on the Authority's behalf.

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