Warrington winger Tom Lineham has been banned for eight matches after being found guilty of grabbing the testicles of an opponent.
The former Hull FC player faced a Rugby Football League disciplinary hearing on Tuesday night after being placed on report during last Thursday’s Betfred Super League win over Castleford for the alleged offence on Alex Foster.
Lineham was subsequently charged by the RFL’s match review panel with a Grade F offence – the most serious on the RFL’s scale – of “other contrary conduct” and referred to an independent tribunal.
The 27-year-old, who has had an eventful year after suffering a bad bout of Covid-19 and burning his hand in an accident with a petrol can, contested the decision but the tribunal ruled it was correct and also imposed a £500 fine.
Hull KR half-back Jordan Abdull has been suspended for two matches after pleading guilty to a similar charge arising from a challenge on St Helens back rower James Bentley.
He was charged with a Grade D offence, which carries a ban of three to five matches, but succeeded in having it downgraded to Grade C. He was also fined £500.
Saints winger Tommy Makinson is currently serving a five-match ban for a similar offence.
Meanwhile, St Helens centre Kevin Naiqama has been cleared to play in Saturday’s Coral Challenge Cup quarter-final against Warrington after successfully challenging the match review panel’s decision to suspend him for two matches.
The Fijian centre was sin-binned for a high tackle on Hull KR centre Kane Linnett during the closing stages of Friday’s Betfred Super League win over Rovers and was subsequently charged with a Grade C offence.
Naiqama admitted the offence but challenged the panel’s grading which was lowered on appeal to Grade A and, while Naiqama has been fined £500, there will be no suspension.
Leeds second rower Alex Sutcliffe accepted his two-match suspension for a dangerous tackle and team-mate Brad Dwyer and Castleford loose forward Adam Milner accepted their one-game bans for Grade B offences.
Sutcliffe and Dwyer will both sit out the Rhinos’ Challenge Cup quarter-final against Hull KR at St Helens on Friday.