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Borussia Dortmund's top scorer, striker Robert Lewandowski, on Tuesday had his appeal against a three-match Bundesliga ban rejected by the German Football Association's (DFB) disciplinary committee.
The 24-year-old was shown a straight red card 10 days ago for a dangerous challenge on midfielder Per Skjelbred in Hamburg's shock 4-1 victory at Dortmund and was promptly handed a three-match ban, which the DFB upheld Tuesday.
Lewandowski has scored 14 goals in 20 league games so far this campaign, while his 30 goals in all competitions last season helped Borussia win the league and cup double.
"Mr Lewandowski had carried through with his challenge and not held back, he risked injury both for himself and his opponent," said committee chairman Hans E Lorenz.
Having already missed Dortmund's 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday which saw them stay second in the Bundesliga, he will also miss Sunday's trip to Borussia Moenchengladbach and the home match against Hanover 96 on March 2.
Skjelbred told the committee he felt a yellow card would have sufficed for the challenge and Dortmund chief executive officer Hans-Joachim Watzke said he was disappointed by the decision.
"Our opinion was the findings of today's evidence would have led to a different result, but the ban stays in place," Watzke said.
Under contract until 2014, Lewandowski has thus far declined to extend his deal with Dortmund and has been strongly linked to a move to Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich, who are 15 points clear at the top of the table.
The Poland star will be eligible for the holders' crunch German Cup quarter-final against Bayern in Munich on February 27 in a repeat of last May's final, which Dortmund won 5-2.