South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has lost his appeal against his ball-tampering conviction.
Du Plessis was found guilty in November after footage appeared to show the 32-year-old licking his finger and shining the ball while eating a sweet in the second Test against Australia.
He was fined 100% of his match fee by the International Cricket Council.
But he will be able to play in South Africa’s Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka as he will not face a match ban.
“It is the duty of the ICC to ensure fair play on the cricket field,” said International Cricket Council chief executive Dave Richardson.
“Although it was not picked up by the umpires at the time, when the incident came to our attention subsequently, we felt it was our responsibility to lay a charge in this case because the ICC can’t let such an obvious breach of this law pass without taking any action.
“We are pleased that both the match referee and Mr Beloff QC have agreed with our interpretation of the laws and hope that this serves as a deterrent to all players not to engage in this sort of unfair practice in the future.”
Du Plessis, who is also captain of the Twenty20 side, has always denied any wrongdoing and said he had been made a “scapegoat” after the original conviction.
In 2013, Du Plessis was fined 50% of his match fee for ball tampering in the second Test against Pakistan.
He was caught on camera rubbing the ball against a zip on his pocket on the third day of the match in Dubai, leading umpires to penalise South Africa five runs and change the ball. He did not contest the charge.
Last week Du Plessis was appointed as the permanent captain of South Africa following AB de Villier’s decision to step down in order to concentrate on his recovery from an elbow injury.
South Africa now face Sri Lanka in a three-match Test series starting at Port Elizabeth on 26 December. ( News Source: BBC Sports and Cover Image: Cricket.com.au)