– Gareth Rees QC, Chairman of the Independent Appeal Panel
The independent Appeal Panel accepts that the circumstances of this case are quite exceptional. However, we have to mark this serious breach with a points deduction and, although we have allowed the appeal in respect of the five points which were suspended, we must acknowledge the impact on the integrity of the game and deduct five Premiership points with immediate effect.
London Welsh say they are "extremely disappointed by the Independent Appeal Panel’s decision" to uphold the five-point deduction and £15,000 fine against the club, for fielded an ineligible player, Tyson Keats, in ten Aviva Premiership matches this season.
The decision means that the club remain five points adrift at the bottom of the Aviva Premiership.
In a statement London Welsh said that the RFU's decision to remove the additional suspended five-point penalty imposed until the end of the 2013-14 season, justified their decision to appeal.
– Tony Copsey, London Welsh CEO
The club is hugely disappointed by the decision of the Independent Appeal Panel to uphold the five-point deduction for this season.
We are particularly disappointed for the players, who’ve given everything they can for the club, and ultimately it is they who have been punished for something completely beyond their control.
However, there are still four games remaining in the season and the focus and efforts of the players, the coaching staff and everyone at London Welsh is now on those remaining matches.
London Welsh have lost their appeal against a five-point deduction and a £15,000 fine for fielding an ineligible player in the Aviva Premiership, the Rugby Football Union has announced on Twitter.
#LondonWelsh appeal decision: 5 points immediate deduction remains; 5 points suspended deduction removed; 15k fine payable within 21 days.