Cardiff Blues lock George Earle's appeal against an eight-week ban for an eye gouging incident has failed following an independent hearing.
The 30-year-old was handed the sanction following his sent-off in the European Challenge Cup encounter against Bath Rugby at Recreation Ground on 5th December.
The incident happened in the 48th minute of the game which Bath went on to win 38-3 when he involved in an eye gouging incident involving flanker Tom Ellis and was handed a red card by referee Alexandre Ruiz.
Earle pleaded not guilty in an independent hearing conducted by the European disciplinary panel.
A statement released by European Professional Club Rugby read: "An independent appeal committee has decided not to allow an appeal by the Cardiff Blues player, George Earle, against the eight-week suspension imposed on him by an independent disciplinary committee.
"The appeal committee, which consisted of Professor Lorne Crerar (Scotland), chairman, Rod McKenzie (Scotland) and Roger Morris (Wales), reviewed the sanction without a personal hearing following a request from the player.
"Earle's suspension therefore remains in place and he is free to play on Monday, 13 February 2017."
Earle's ban was effective from 26th December and can resume playing from 13th February onwards.