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24 August 2010

Rugby doc admits to fake blood scandal

The doctor involved in English rugby's fake blood scandal admitted that she cut the lip of Tom Williams after he pretended to be injured in a Heineken Cup match last year.

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The doctor involved in English rugby's fake blood scandal admitted on Monday that she cut the lip of Harlequins winger Tom Williams after he pretended to be injured in a Heineken Cup match last year.

Williams had bitten on a capsule of fake blood to force a late blood replacement substitution during the England premiership club's quarter-final loss to Leinster in April 2009.

His departure allowed specialist goalkicker Nick Evans to take the field in his place to try to kick a winning drop goal.

'Extremely panicked'

The player told a disciplinary hearing of the General Medical Council that he had become 'extremely panicked' and twice asked club doctor Wendy Chapman to cut him after officials questioned his apparent injury.

Mary O'Rourke, representing Chapman, who was suspended by the GMC in September pending a formal investigation into allegations that she brought the profession into disrepute, said she had made the incision with a stitch cutter in the treatment room.

The doctor admitted the majority of the charges against her, but denied misconduct in telling match officials that the player, who was banned for four months after confessing to the deception, also had a loose tooth.

Doc didn't plan incident

Representing the GMC, Michael Hayton accepted Chapman had no involvement in planning the incident.

"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," he said.

"What then took place is that the doctor examined Tom Williams, and said he had a loose tooth in the presence of others," continued Hayton.

"Then at the request of the player she cut his lip with a stitch cutter to cause an injury. Chapman has admitted that the purpose was to justify his replacement." - (Reuters Health, August 2010)

 
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