Cheetahs centre Nico Lee will sit out 13 weeks of Pro 14 action after he was suspended for clearing "the contents of his nose" on Connacht's Colby Fainga'a during their clash last weekend.
Lee was cited following the incident in Galway under Law 9.27, which states that a player must not do anything that is against the spirit of good sportsmanship.
A three-man disciplinary panel convened on Wednesday found that Lee had committed a deliberate act of foul play and handed down a lengthy ban that will see the centre ruled out until July 21. He will miss the remainder of the Pro 14 season, but he is entitled to appeal.
Cheetahs player Nico Lee banned for 13 weeks after he "accepted that he had cleared the contents of his nose onto the face of an opposing player." pic.twitter.com/bpXRqT0L6l— Murray Kinsella (@Murray_Kinsella) February 20, 2019
"With regard to the offence, the player accepted that he had cleared the contents of his nose on to the face of an opposing player, thereby committing an act of foul play," Pro 14 organisers said in a statement.
"The player's actions are an act of foul play. They have no place in the game. This is not a case of over-exuberance or an act which is within the rules of the game going awry."
Lee posted an apology via the Cheetahs' twitter account: "That's not the type of person or player I am and it was an act of stupidity."