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An independent judicial committee has exonerated Canadian prop Olivia DeMerchant, who was sent off in Canada’s 24-7 rugby win over Wales on Sunday.

DeMerchant was shown a red card in the 34th minute for a shoulder charge to the head in tackling Welsh flanker Bethan Lewis in Cardiff Arms Park.

As a result of the ejection, DeMerchant had to appear before an independent disciplinary committee to face possible further sanctions.

The committee consisted of chairman Tommy Dalton of Ireland and former international referee Valeriu Toma of Romania and Donal Courtney of Ireland.

DeMerchant, who captained Canada in Wales, denied committing “an act of foul play worthy of a red card.” And after reviewing the evidence, the committee agreed.

It ruled there was no conclusive evidence that the player’s shoulder had come in contact with the tackled player’s head and neck area. It also noted that the tackled player had no recollection of such contact.

The committee therefore did not uphold the red card, allowing DeMerchant to play again immediately.

The 30-year-old from Mapledale, N.B., plays in England for the Exeter Chiefs.

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