The Sri Lanka Under 19 XV’s captain Gemunu Chethiya has been handed a two-year suspended sentence with effect from 8th January 2019 following an incident that took place in Chinese Taipei during the Asia Under 19 Rugby Championship.
The suspension is essentially a kind of probation, meaning that the former Josephian can continue playing rugby but has to show good discipline and virtue in the next two years or risk facing a ban.
Chethiya captained the Sri Lanka Under 19 fifteen’s outfit to Chinese Taipei for the Asia Under 19 Championship in December last year and was found guilty of inappropriate behavior with a staff member at the team hotel.
“We have given only a suspension sentence. There is no restriction for him to play rugby at any level. He will be however strictly monitored” added Sri Lanka Rugby president Lasitha Gunaratne commenting on the decision taken.
“However, it is mandatory that he (Gemunu) attends counseling sessions for one year since we have to take into consideration the player’s mentality as well”
“He has not played competitive rugby since the U19 championship and we have appointed World Rugby adjudicator Aruna Jayasekara to look into the counseling sessions.”
It will be mandatory for Chethiya to mark his presence in the counseling sessions for 1 year since Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) believes that the player’s mental health needs to be taken into consideration.
The 20-year-old Chethiya was a standout player for St. Joseph’s College in the 2018 Schools Rugby Season. In 2017, he provided leadership to the Sri Lanka U18 Sevens side that played at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas and later made the Sri Lanka U20 Sevens side.
Chethiya was drafted in the wider training squad for Sri Lanka sevens last year as well.