The Springbok loose forward Schalk Burger has reacted to the outcry over his role in the incident that overshadowed last week's second Test against the British and Irish Lions by insisting that he is "no thug", and expressed his satisfaction at the judgment that found him not guilty of eye-gouging.
Burger was suspended for eight weeks after the television replay showed him clawing at the face of Lions wing Luke Fitzgerald early in the Pretoria game.
The judgment says Burger wasn't found guilty of eye gouging, rather committing an act that was contrary to good sportsmanship.
It appears the citing commissioner couldn't confirm any intent on the part of Burger.
The former world player of the year says he's no rugby thug and he'd never intentionally engage in eye gouging or similar illegal actions.
Burger says he'll always play the game as hard as possible within the rules and apologised to his supporters and fellow team-mates for the fact that he was sin-binned.