'Bloodgate' physio could be struck off
August 17, 2010
It is alleged that Brennan gave Quins' Tom WIlliams the fake blood capsule © Getty Images
Former Harlequins physio Steph Brennan has been called to appear before a Health Professions Council misconduct hearing to answer allegations that he was at the centre of the Bloodgate scandal that rocked English rugby last year.
Brennan is alleged by the HPC to have played a key role in Harlequins wing Tom Williams faking a blood injury during the Heineken Cup quarter-final against Leinster on April 12, 2009. The HPC's Conduct and Competence Committee will consider allegations that Brennan purchased the blood capsule and gave it to Williams with the intention of it being used to cheat. Brennan is accused of being complicit in a subsequent cover-up and of fabricating wounds "on a number of occasions other than April 12". If found guilty, he could be struck off.
The HPC charge-sheet alleges: "By reason of your misconduct, your fitness to practise is impaired." The two-day hearing in London starts on September 13 - three weeks after Dr Wendy Chapman faces a General Medical Council hearing in Manchester relating to the same incident. Dr Chapman, who was the Harlequins match-day doctor, is accused of deliberately cutting Williams' lip in a bid to cover up the fabricated injury. She could be struck off if found guilty.
Harlequins' intention was to engineer a blood replacement in order to get a specialist kicker back on to the field in an attempt to win the game. In the end, Leinster held on to win 6-5. Harlequins director of rugby Dean Richards was given a three-year ban by a European Rugby Cup appeals panel after Williams changed his evidence.
It emerged during the ERC hearing that Richards had ordered fake blood injuries on four other occasions and orchestrated the Bloodgate cover-up. The ERC appeal panel gave Brennan a two-year ban from rugby.