The English rugby club London Welsh have lost their appeal against a five-point deduction for fielding ineligible player Tyson Keats.
An Independent Appeal Panel upheld the decision to dock the club five Premiership points and fine them 27 thousand dollars but removed a further suspended five-point deduction that had been imposed in the original ruling earlier this month.
The club, who won a court battle to join the Premiership this season, are bottom of the table five points behind Sale Sharks with four matches remaining.
New Zealand-born halfback Keats played 10 Premiership matches for London Welsh this season without being correctly registered.
Former London Welsh team manager Mike Scott has been banned from rugby for life for providing false information over the registration of Keats.