Canterbury prop Luke Thompson said he has concerns for his reputation in the NRL after he was suspended for four weeks for an eye gouge.
A three-man judiciary panel of Bob Linder, Sean Garlick and Ben Creagh took 30 minutes to determine the 25-year-old England prop was guilty of careless dangerous contact with James Tamou's eye.
Flanked by high-powered solicitor Nick Ghabar, Thompson denied intending to put pressure on the eye and said he didn't know his hands were on Tamou's face during the Bulldogs' loss to Penrith on Saturday.
However, the panel determined he intended to intimidate Tamou by making contact with his eye.
"I'm disappointed with the outcome, it wasn't intentional to eye gouge or whatever they've accused me of," Thompson said.
"I was just trying to win the tackle and take him to the ground, so I'm a bit confused."
When asked if he is concerned for his reputation, Thompson said: "Yeah, that's why it's upsetting and disappointing but it is what it is, so we move on."
It comes after Tamou told the panel he had hoped to get a penalty for the incident after waiting two minutes to make the official on-field complaint to referee Henry Perenara.
Three days before leading the Panthers into a qualifying final against the Sydney Roosters, Tamou appeared via video link to give evidence in which he said he felt hands on his face and "wholeheartedly believed it (was an eye gouge) if I hadn't seen the footage."
Replays were shown of Thompson making contact with Tamou's eyes, but the Penrith skipper said he didn't believe there was intent to gouge.
Tamou said he had no eye irritation, no soreness and didn't feel any raking at the time but had hoped to earn a penalty for his side by making the complaint to the referee.
He said he also made the complaint and gave evidence to mitigate the risk to other players in the future if Thompson were to intend to cause damage by putting pressure on players eyes.
After backtracking on his on-field claim he had been eye-gouged, Tamou was asked if he believed whatever happens on the field stays on the field.
"Yes, but no," he said.
"If he had motive to do damage, I have no doubt he could do some damage.
"My eye was fine and it was fine afterwards.
"The reason I'm here tonight is because I think Luke could do some damage.
"At the time I was hoping for the penalty but I don't believe his intentions were to do some damage."
Thompson explained that he was trying to pull Tamou to the ground but "readjusted when I realised he wasn't coming down".
Ghabar unsuccessfully argued the contact was momentary and not enough to meet the standard of "unacceptable risk of injury" required to prove the dangerous contact charge.
Thompson becomes the fourth player suspended for an eye gouge recently.
North Queensland's Josh McGuire missed three weeks for an incident involving David Fifita, while Canberra's Hudson Young served a five-week and eight-week suspension for two separate charges.
Former South Sydney forward George Burgess was whacked with a nine-week suspension for an eye gouge on Robbie Farah in July last year.
Australian Associated Press