An Australian rugby player with a history of violent behavior, on and off the pitch, has been suspended for eight games after allegedly biting a player from the opposing team on the penis during a tackle in a local league game.
The penis-biting incident occurred during the preliminary final game of a local rugby league in Gold Coast, when Anthony Watts, a former professional rugby player for Austraila’s National Rugby League (NRL) allegedly bit an opponent on the penis while being tackled.
As reported by Australian Associated Press, Watts has been banned for eight matches after being found guilty of the offense.
Video footage of the incident shows the opposing player reeling away in pain after clashing with Watts near the goal line.
He then quickly pulled down his shorts to show the damage to a referee who immediately placed Watts on report.
"After the judiciary panel reviewed footage as well as reports from medical staff and match officials, it found Watts guilty of Contrary Conduct," Gold Coast Rugby League said in a statement on Wednesday.
Appearing before the media last week, Watts’ lawyer said his client "absolutely denies that any biting of any nature has taken place. Now, if there has been any contact made to that particular area of this gentleman’s body, our client apologizes Whether it is real or imagined, contact can occur and that is a very real risk."
Watts, who has a history of violence, was fired by the NRL in 2011 for disciplinary problems. He has since been arrested for brawling in addition to being charged with weapons possession in New South Wales for carrying knuckle-dusters.
According to Reuters, the Watts incident isn’t the first time an Australian rugby or football (soccer) players has been punished for a violent below-the-belt infraction.
In 2002, former professional Australian soccer player Peter Filandia was banned for 10 games for biting an opponent’s testicles during a match.
In 2001, former NRL player John Hopoate was fired from his team for inserting his fingers into opposing players’ anuses.
Gold Coast Rugby officials said that Watts intends to appeal the penis biting charge, but has yet to file the necessary paperwork.
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