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Thomson suspended by Hearts

Hearts have confirmed they have suspended defender Craig Thomson with immediate effect.

The club announced they were standing by the player, following a conviction for "lewd, libidinous and indecent behaviour''.

However, a short statement on the club's official website read: "Hearts today announce that Craig Thomson is suspended with immediate effect. No further comment will be made by the club.''

The 20-year-old full-back earlier this month pleaded guilty, was fined and placed on the sex offenders register in relation to his inappropriate conduct towards two underage girls over the internet.

And one of the club's sponsors announced they were withdrawing support as official water sponsor of the Jambos, a deal worth more than £5,000.

A MacB spokeswoman said: "As a company with strong family values, we are left with no choice but to terminate our relationship with the Hearts Football Club.

"Along with countless others, fans and co-sponsors alike, we are extremely disappointed with the club's handling of this situation and as a result can no longer continue our support.''

Hearts manager Jim Jefferies admitted on Monday, before the club's U-turn: "There will be some games now where this gives us a situation.

"We have to make sure that if Craig ever gets back in the team - and let's not forget there's competition for places - how will he handle what's coming to him?

"We have to be sure as well because at the end of the day that's going to affect the performance of the rest of the players if it becomes a bit of a sideshow which gets out of hand.''

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