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France lock cleared of 'racism' in 2020 attack

NEWS: France lock Bastien Chalureau was cleared of carrying out a racially motivated attack on two men, but his six-month suspended prison sentence for the violent incident remains in place.

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The second row forward, Chalureau, 31, who was part of France’s World Cup squad last year, was originally given a six-month suspended sentence for the attack in January 2020, but appealed.

In November, the judge at Toulouse Court of Appeal suggested a heavier sentence, two months longer.

“Bastien Chalureau is not proud of the attacks he committed but he’s not racist,” Chalureau’s lawyer David Mendel told reporters.

“The file was respected and Baptiste Chalureau was cleared of this defamatory circumstance,” Mendel added.

Montpellier’s Chalureau had accepted he attacked two other players during a night out in January 2020, but denies using racist language during the incident.

It took place in Toulouse, when Chalureau played for the town’s top-flight club.

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In November 2020, a Toulouse court sentenced Chalureau to a suspended six-month prison sentence for “acts of violence – committed because of the race or ethnicity of the victim”.

Chalureau was sacked by Toulouse after the decision before joining their Top 14 rivals Montpellier.

The court case overshadowed the start to France’s World Cup campaign, before they were knocked out by eventual winners South Africa in the quarterfinals.

French President Emmanuel Macron had said it would be preferable that Chalureau no longer played for France if his appeal failed.

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Chalureau, who stands at 2.02 metres, is unlikely to be named in France’s Six Nations squad, announced on Wednesday, having started just three games for Montpellier this season.

 

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