Rugby player Doglioli banned for tackling female referee

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Vicenza player Bruno Doglioli was on Thursday banned from rugby for three years for a horrific tackle on a female referee.

The Argentine was suspended by his club after astonishingly charging at Maria Beatrice Benvenuti and knocking the official to the turf during a Serie A match against Valsugana last Sunday.

Benvenuti did not see Doglioli coming as she faced the play and he ran up behind her before launching into a brutal tackle on the referee, who reportedly suffered whiplash.

The Italian Rugby Federation hit Doglioli with a suspension which is the biggest imposed in the last 20 years, having only been shown a yellow card for the assault during the game.

Benvenuti officiated in the women's sevens tournament at the Rio Olympics this year and at the 2014 Women's World Cup.