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Community service sentence for Bastareaud after New Zealand lies

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-09-28

French rugby player Mathieu Bastareaud, who admitted he lied when he claimed he had been assaulted in Wellington, New Zealand, received a three-month suspension, commuted to community service.

AFP - France centre Mathieu Bastareaud on Monday received a three-month suspension, commuted to community service, for having lied about an assault on himself while on tour in New Zealand.

The French Rugby Federation's (FFR) disciplinary committee ruled that Bastareaud's actions had harmed the wider interests of the sport.

The federation said the Stade Francais back would have to complete 18 activities related to amateur rugby before June 30, 2010, or face having the suspension enforced.

Bastareaud, 21, admitted making up a story about being attacked in the street in Wellington following France's 14-10 defeat by the All Blacks on June 20.

Federation chairman Pierre Camou referred the affair to the committee after Prime Minister Francois Fillon ended up apologising to New Zealand for the player's claims.

After a furore erupted in New Zealand, Fillon told his counterpart John Key that Bastareaud's behaviour had been unacceptable.

Wellington police found video evidence that the player had entered the team hotel on the Sunday morning uninjured and had gone to his room 25 minutes later.

Bastareaud finally admitted he had not been assaulted but received a cut and bruised face after a drunken fall in his room.

He said he had invented the assault story to avoid being sent home by the French team management and upsetting his family.

The player went to hospital suffering psychological problems but has since resumed playing for Stade.

Date created : 2009-09-28

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