Bristol Bears winger Alapati Leiua has been handed a four-week ban after he was cited for an incident in the recently concluded Gallagher Premiership clash against Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop.
The Samoa international was cited for a strike on Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith and appeared before a three-man independent disciplinary committee chaired by Gareth Graham.
The panel deemed that the action of the 30-year-old warranted a red-card threshold and as a result, he was banned for four weeks.
"As the player carried the ball into the tackle, he led with his forearm and struck Marcus Smith, the tackler, to the side of the head," panel chair Gareth Graham said.
"The panel accepted the player's evidence that he had mistimed an attempt to fend off the tackler and had not intended to strike the Harlequins player.
"However, the panel found that by leading with his forearm into the tackle, where the forearm then made contact to the tackler's head, the player had committed a reckless act of foul play that passed the red card threshold. The panel upheld the citing."
Leiua will miss Gallagher Premiership games against Gloucester, Northampton Saints and Worcester Warriors along with European Challenge Cup quarter-final against La Rochelle.