The Scotland stand-off was sent off in the 71st minute of the 27-23 Six Nations win in Paris after his forearm made contact with French full-back Brice Dulin’s neck as he tried to fend him off.
The ban applies to Russell’s next three matches with his club, Racing 92. It means he will miss the Heineken Champions Cup last-16 game against Edinburgh in Paris on Sunday.
Match referee Wayne Barnes dismissed the fly-half following a consultation with the television match official at the Stade de France.
At a Six Nations disciplinary hearing on Monday, Russell accepted that he had committed an act of foul play and that it had warranted a red card. However, he did not accept that he had “struck” Dulin and suggested that the foul play should have been categorised as an infringement of Law 9.24: “A ball-carrier is permitted to hand off an opponent provided excessive force is not used.”
However, the disciplinary committee disagreed and decided that Russell’s actions had been properly categorised as “striking with the arm under Law 9.12”.
Law 9.12 encompassed “dangerous play” and states: “A player must not physically or verbally abuse anyone. Physical abuse includes, but is not limited to, biting, punching, contact with the eye or eye area, striking with any part of the arm (including stiff-arm tackles), shoulder, head or knee(s), stamping, trampling, tripping or kicking.).”
Such an offence warrants a mid-range entry point ban of six weeks but this was reduced to three weeks due to mitigating circumstances.
A statement from the Six Nations said: “The Disciplinary Committee gave credit for Mr Russell’s prompt acceptance that his actions had constituted foul play and been worthy of a red card, his disciplinary record, his attitude to the disciplinary process before and during the hearing, and his clear remorse (shown by his response to Mr Dulin on the pitch), and reduced the suspension by three weeks so that the final period of suspension is three weeks.”
Russell has the right to appeal.
The disciplinary committee comprised Antony Davies (England), Olly Kohn (Wales) and Jamie Corsi (Wales).