Ulster have been handed a suspended fine and docked one point from their tally in the 2019/20 season for fielding Ian Madigan without clearance from the union.
The decision follows after they included Madigan, who switched from Bristol to Ulster in summer in their matchday squad for Pro14 games on 23rd and 29th August without receiving proper documentation from Rugby Football Union.
A suspended fine of €10,000 is in place and will be triggered if the club breaches the player eligibility clauses for the second time in the 2020/21 season. The one point deduction will have no bearing on Ulster's league standing in the Conference A in the 2019/20 season where they finished second.
"The outcome of the games had no bearing on the club’s progression from the Conference stages," read a Guinness PRO14 statement.
"As this was a breach of the tournament Participation Agreement, it has been treated as an act of Misconduct to which the club has accepted.
"PRO14 Rugby accepts that this breach was not intentional and occurred due to an administrative error related to the furloughing of staff as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"As a result, the club has been deducted the one match point earned in the two fixtures referred to above (a losing bonus-point against Connacht).
"This has no bearing on their final position in the Conference A table for the 2019/20 season".