Chapman free to practise medicine again
August 31, 2010
Tom Williams faked a blood injury during last year's Heineken Cup defeat by Leinster © Getty Images
The doctor at the centre of the 'Bloodgate' scandal has been cleared to return to work by the General Medical Council (GMC).
Dr Wendy Chapman had been found to have deliberately cut the lip of Harlequins' Tom Williams in order to authenticate a blood injury claim made by the winger during the club's Heineken Cup defeat by Leinster last year.
However, a GMC disciplinary panel ruled that Chapman, who had been pressured into cutting Williams by the player himself, was still fit to continue practising medicine even though she had not acted in the best interests of her patient in this particular instance.
The panel had accepted that Dr Wendy Chapman had had no prior knowledge of Harlequins' faking of the blood injury before Williams asked her to cut his lip after the game, meaning she had not had "any involvement or knowledge of the deception".
Chapman admitted all of the charges brought against her, bar the accusation that she had claimed that the 'blood' gushing from Williams' mouth as he left the field had been the result of a loose tooth.
The 'Bloodgate' scandal is considered one of the biggest in rugby history. After finding themselves 6-5 down in their quarter-final clash with Leinster and without a specialist goal-kicker on the field, Harlequins cynically instructed Williams to bite on a fake-blood capsule.
As per the rules of the game, Quins were able to make a 'blood substitution', replacing the seemingly injured Williams with fly-half Nick Evans. Leinster held on to win the game but doubts were immediately raised about the authenticity of Williams' injury and that prompted an investigation which ultimately led to twelve-month ban for Williams, which was later reduced to four months on appeal, a three-year ban for former director of rugby Dean Richards and a two-year ban for physiotherapist Steph Brennan.