Aviva Premiership
'Bloodgate' doc admits cutting Williams
Scrum.com
August 23, 2010

Wendy Chapman, the doctor implicated in the Harlequins 'Bloodgate' scandal, has admitted cutting the lip of winger Tom Williams at General Medical Council [GMC] hearing.

The incident, during Quins' Heineken Cup quarter-final loss to Leinster in April 2009, saw Williams bite down on a fake blood capsule in order to allow his side to bring on a specialist kicker, Nick Evans, in the dying moments of their 6-5 defeat.

According to GMC lawyers, Chapman's actions could bring the profession in to disrepute. She has already been suspended from her position at Maidstone Hospital in Kent but could be struck off if found guilty of misconduct by the panel.

Chapman, who has been receiving treatment for breast cancer, admitted failing to inform a subsequent European Rugby Cup disciplinary hearing that she had caused the injury to Williams' lip and also that she had falsely claimed that the player had a loose tooth. She denied that it had been her intention to deceive.

Williams told the panel that he had to twice ask Chapman to make the incision in the changing rooms, as he became "extremely panicked" when match officials questioned whether his injury was genuine. He also said that he believes the club doctor was not aware of the plan to use a blood capsule.

"When Tom Williams came off it was apparent to a number of people that what was coming from his mouth was not blood and it led to disquiet from Leinster officials, as they saw it was a ruse to bring back on Nick Evans," Michael Hayton, opening the case for the GMC, said.

"There were a number of people at that stage attempting to see what was going on, attempting to confirm or disprove there was a legitimate blood injury. There was no doubt that the atmosphere was highly charged.

"What then took place is that the doctor examined Tom Williams and said he had a loose tooth in the presence of others. Then at the request of the player she cut his lip with a stitch cutter to cause an injury. Dr. Chapman has admitted that the purpose was to justify his replacement."

Williams was banned for 12 months, later reduced to four, while director of rugby Dean Richards was suspended from coaching worldwide for three years. The club was fined £259,000.

© Scrum.com

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