Glasgow flanker Ryan Wilson has escaped suspension after being accused of grabbing the testicles of Northampton scrum-half Lee Dickson.
Scotland back-rower Wilson had a citing complaint against him dismissed by European officials in a disciplinary hearing in London yesterday.
Wilson was overlooked for Scotland’s RBS 6 Nations campaign by head coach Vern Cotter, who insisted that the decision had nothing to do with Wilson having been cited for the alleged offence. That came after Northampton’s 19-15 European Champions Cup victory over Glasgow on Sunday.
After being cleared, the 26-year-old is now free to return to action for both club and country, if required, given that he could yet feature in Scotland’s Six Nations campaign despite missing initial selection.
Cotter has the option to bring Wilson back into the squad if there are injuries or other issues for the players selected ahead of him.
Wilson pleaded not guilty to the offence, with independent judicial officer Simon Thomas effectively throwing out the case.
“As the judicial officer was not satisfied to the required standard that the act of foul play as alleged had been committed, the citing complaint was dismissed and Wilson is therefore free to play,” read a statement from European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR).
Wilson could have faced a minimum 12-week ban had he been found guilty of the offence.
However, he is now free to return to action without delay.
On a busy disciplinary day, Wilson’s Glasgow and Scotland team-mate Tim Swinson was handed a one-week ban for a punch.
That offence, involving Northampton hooker Mikey Haywood, also took place during Sunday’s Champions Cup clash.
Swinson was sin-binned for the incident, and pleaded guilty to the offence at yesterday’s disciplinary hearing in London.
Independent judicial officer Simon Thomas deemed the offence worthy of a red card, and imposed a suspension of two weeks that was then halved due to the guilty plea, Swinson’s remorse and clean disciplinary record.
Swinson is free to play from Monday 25 January, allowing the 28-year-old to take full part in the Six Nations.
Newport Gwent Dragons hooker T Rhys Thomas saw an allegation of biting dismissed.
Thomas had been alleged to have bitten Castres flanker Thomas Caballero in the Dragons’ 31-18 Challenge Cup victory on Friday night.
Independent judicial officer Rod McKenzie dismissed the complaint, leaving Thomas free to return to action straight away.