Gloucester Rugby's Head of Rugby Operations Rob Burgess, who represented Azam at today's appeal, expressed his satisfaction at the fact that the appeal was upheld but natural disappointment that the length of ban remained the same.
"We're pleased that the panel upheld our appeal and acknowledged that the offence was mid range rather than top end."
"We feel this was more in line with the nature of the offence which, as the original panel judged, was caused by Olivier kicking out in an attempt to free his ankle when it was being twisted rather than in a deliberate attempt to cause injury and/ or kick Steve Borthwick in the face."
"So, I'm pleased in that respect as we felt Olivier's reputation would have been unfairly tarnished had that distinction not been made."
"However, we are disappointed that the length of the ban remains at 12 weeks which is a significant absence for an offence where there was no deliberate intent to cause injury."
"Olivier will now miss three months of rugby at a critical time of the season, which is damaging for both him and the club. He is paying a heavy price for having so recently come off his only other relevant ban in nearly 200 games over 9 seasons for Gloucester."
"We just hope that there is consistency applied not only across the English game but also across Europe for similar cases as this is vital out of fairness to players and for maintaining the credibility of rugby in the eyes of supporters."
Fly-half Billy Burns was named Man of the Match after the 35-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup victory over Stade Rochelais on Thursday evening, and was full of praise for all his team mates for the win after a short turnaround.
Gloucester have been in good form in recent weeks, but Backs Coach Tim Taylor knows that the Cherry and Whites will have to be at their best on Thursday evening (kick off 7:45pm) against a Stade Rochelais side flying high this season.
Speaking to GRTV after the bonus point win over Bristol, back row Lewis Ludlow revealed that despite a tricky first half, Gloucester backed their skills to come through, a faith that was evident in a strong second half showing.
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
Gloucester's much changed side had to overcome conceding an early try on Thursday evening, but responded in style to down Stade Rochelais by 35 points to 14 in the European Rugby Challenge Cup and set up a mouthwatering return fixture next weekend.
After taking 11 points from their last three games in the Aviva Premiership, including bonus point wins against Wasps and Bristol, Gloucester will be looking to continue their good form when they welcome La Rochelle to Kingsholm.