HUDDERSFIELD Giants used medical evidence to prove Chris Thorman was not guilty of biting the finger of an opponent.
The 27-year-old club captain was last night cleared by Rugby Football League disciplinary chiefs of the allegation made by Bradford Bulls full-back Michael Platt during the Giants’ 25-24 Super League victory on Sunday.
Had Thorman been found guilty, he could have faced a ban of up to eight weeks, effectively ruling him out for the rest of the season.
But in what is thought to be a first in the RFL disciplinary process, Giants club doctor Amit Pannu gave evidence at the hearing to prove his player could not have committed the offence.
And joint caretaker coach Paul Anderson was obviously delighted with the outcome.
“I believe we must be pioneers, because we’re not aware of doctors ever being used at a disciplinary hearing in this way before,” said Anderson.
“There was no video evidence to back up the allegation, just the claim from the opponent and the referee’s report.
“But Amit was able to prove medically that the allegation was false and the case was thrown out.
“We’re obviously delighted Chris is available for us at Leeds on Friday, but we’re also disappointed that we had to go through this time-consuming process.
“We always knew Chris was innocent of the charge.”
However, it was a different matter for Bradford centre Paul Sykes, who was banned for one match and fined £300 in the wake of the weekend derby clash.
Sykes was sent off at the end of the game after he protested against referee Steve Ganson’s decision to blow for time while the teams were preparing to pack down for a scrum.
And he was last night found guilty of using foul and abusive language to a match official.
Sykes’ ban means the Bulls squad will be stretched to the limit for Friday’s clash at Warrington.
But Huddersfield chief Anderson admits that he and joint coach Keiron Purtill now face a major selection headache.
“It’s always been our aim to have as many players available for selection as possible,” he added.
“We now know Chris can remain part of that process, along with fellow half-back Luke Robinson, who’s also fit again.”