Harlequins Blood Cheating — Doctor Faces Disciplinary Hearings

Least culpable person in blood cheating faces most severe punishment

Dr Wendy Chapman is unemployed and risks utter disgrace including removal from the register of medical practitioners because a cheating thug — Tom Williams — screamed into her face in a dressing-room full of pumped-up, aggressive Harlequins players.  Wendy Chapman, who was recovering from breast cancer surgery and suffering severe depression, should never have been put in that position by Harlequins management.

The man who orchestrated the cheating, Dean Richards, got a three-year ban from coaching.  The 25-year-old thug who intimidated the a 3-month ban, while Wendy Chapman, who had no part in the plan to cheat Leinster out of the Heineken Cup quarter final, faces ruin.

How and why did such a thing come about?

For those who don’t remember the game, Harlequins needed to get a specialist kicker on the field late in the match, to try and snatch a late victory.  They needed their main kicker, Nick Evans of New Zealand, who had gone off injured earlier, but the only way to get him back was as a replacement for a blood injury.  Tom Williams was the man designated to have that blood injury.

So what happened?

We know that Williams bit into a joke blood capsule, and we know that Professor Arthur Tanner, the Leinster team doctor, instantly spotted that it was a fake.  We know that Williams, the dimwit, was caught on video winking as he left the field.  We know that the match officials, including respected referee Nigel Owens, refused to listen to Tanner’s protests, which deserves an inquiry in itself to establish their motivations.  We know that when Tanner tried to get into the Harlequins dressing room to examine the injury, as he was entitled to do, he was verbally abused and physically prevented from entering.  We know that  Williams demanded that Wendy Chapman cut his lip to produce a real blood injury and that she repeatedly refused to do so until he screamed at her to Cut my fucking lip!!

As it happened, Leinster won the game anyway, but when the cheating was discovered and the General Medical Council inquiry began, Chapman was suspended from the hospital where she worked as an A&E consultant and is now out of work.

I’m inclined to agree with the opinion of Tanner, who appeared at the hearing as a defence witness for Chapman, that she has already paid the price for what happened and should not be subjected to any more pain.  What she did had no effect on the outcome of the match, it didn’t endanger anybody and, while it was unprofessional, was hardly at the most grievous end of the scale of misconduct.  I hope the word of a surgeon as eminent as Tanner will stay the GMC’s hand enough to spare this poor woman any further suffering.

Since the cheat Dean Richards will soon be back in work, and since Tom Williams is over his suspension, maybe the decent thing to do would be to acknowledge that Wendy Chapman (who knew nothing about the conspiracy to cheat) has been put through enough.

10 replies on “Harlequins Blood Cheating — Doctor Faces Disciplinary Hearings”

“Do no harm”, says the code.

She was treated extremely badly (by Williams and Harlequins) but she shouldn’t have done it.
There were extreme and extenuating circumstances but it was still wrong.

Richards got off lightly as did Williams and that’s wrong.
However, they are not doctors.

She’s a doctor. She’s bound to do no harm.
I feel sorry for her but it was wrong in my opinion.

why are the rfu making such a big deal about this ?

steroid abuse reigns large in the game but this is the issue which is put forward for close examination.

a load of bollix really.

fellas will take advantage however they can in sport.

it’s a smokescreen for drugs.

but yes, she is being victimised.

Why did he need a doctor to cut his lip? Were all the other pumped-up players there too chicken to do it? She should not have done it. Medicine must follow its own rules. This speaks to poor standards in rugby, not medicine. It may also be that the GMC cannot appear to listen to Prof Tanner as the public perception will be that doctors stick together to protect each other.

The cover up is by the rfu who are making a huge deal out of this incident. The RFU initiated the enquirey from which the gmc followed on. Personally, I don’t see this incident as a huge issue. They cheated yes, but they also exposed a weakness in the rules of which we are now aware. That’s the way of making the game better.
I rememebr not too long ago Le Geek talking about fabricating situations in a match to use uncontested scrums to waaken the opposition’s obviously stronger scrum.

This lady is caught up in the turbulence and is being grossly mistreated, as you say. This is reprehensible.

I think the RFU are using this issue to take people’s eys away from more fundmental problems within the game and being overly zealous to be “seen to do the right thing”.

I have never understood why they came down so hard on this incident.

I think there is still a problem with steroid abuse. I think this may be the elephant in the room.

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