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LEINSTER’S MATCHDAY DOCTOR – a leading surgeon – said the ‘Bloodgate’ scandal would not have happened if he had been allowed to inspect Harlequins winger Tom Williams’ mouth as he was substituted during  their Heineken Cup quarter-final in London last year.

Professor Arthur Tanner said he was stopped from entering the home dressing home after the game – which Leinster won 6-5 – while his opposite number, Dr Wendy Chapman, was cutting the lip of Tom Williams in order to pass off his ‘blood injury’ as a genuine one.

He told the General Medical Council’s hearing into Chapman’s actions that rugby, as a sport, would “get over” the scandal – but that Chapman had “perhaps suffered a lot more” than the sport had.

“Had I been able to inspect the mouth it would have been obvious that there was no injury and no-one would have had to inflict an injury. It would have been over in an instant,” he said.

I have no doubt if we had been able to call their bluff and he was sent back on to the field then that would have been the end of it.

One of the technical staff with me ran over as Tom Williams was coming off and said that cannot be a real blood injury. I went over and it was quite obvious that what was coming out of his mouth was not blood. I knew instantaneously.

I was remonstrating with the fourth official that there was something underhand but he was having nothing of it.

When he [Williams] came off I asked that I be allowed at pitchside to examine the injury. I was obstructed from doing so by officials.

I followed him down the tunnel after trying to argue with the referee and fourth official and getting nowhere. I went down to assess his injury as that was my right. I tried to enter the changing room. I was barred, I was not able to examine him.

There was a lot of shouting. I could not hear what was being said apart from some expressions about keeping me out that I would rather not repeat.

Prof Tanner was speaking as a witness for the defence, having appeared with the blessing of both clubs. He said that the real wrongdoing, as far as Leinster were concered, was on the part of the Harlequins’ coaching staff for having conceived of the fake blood ploy.

Chapman had said she was ashamed of having succumbed to the pressure from Williams who had pleaded with her to cut his lip, after he had used a capsule of fake blood to pretend he had been injured and necessitate a blood substitution late in the game.

Harlequins had already used their five allowed subs, but blood substitutions are considered temporary and do not count towards the limit. Williams’ ‘injury’  allowed a specialist kicker to come onto the field with the hope of landing a late drop-goal to win the game for Harlequins.

THE DOCTOR who treated Harlequins winger Tom Williams for a faked injury in the 2009 Heineken Cup quarter-final with Leinster – dubbed ‘Bloodgate’ – has admitted to cutting the player’s lip in order to pass off a fake blood capsule being a genuine blood injury.

Harlequins had used all five of their permitted substitutions in the tense quarter-final against Leinster, which the Irish side won 6-5 on their way to European glory, when Williams was taken off for a ‘blood substitution‘, appearing to bleed heavily from his mouth.

It later transpired that Williams had faked an injury and been administered a capsule of fake blood by Williams and the team’s physio, Steph Brennan, in order to be taken off the pitch – so that a specialised kicker could come on, with the match in its dying moments and with the hosts without a kicker when lying just a point behind.

Chapman – who had already been banned from having any role in activity within the English Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the European Rugby Council (ERC)’s competitions for four months, on appeal after an initial twelve-month ban – today admitted to a medical inquiry investigating her conduct that she cut William’s lip afterwards, in order to pass off the injury as genuine.

Williams had admitted after the incident came to light that he had twice asked Chapman to cut his lip in the changing room, after match officials and Leinster backroom staff had questioned the validity of his injury.

Chapman, who is already suspended from practice as a result of the hearing, may now face being struck off the medical register entirely if found guilty of misconduct by the General Medical Council.

The incident already left Harlequins’ director of rugby Dean Richards banned from the game for three years, after it emerged that he had ordered similar fake blood capsules to be used on four other occasions. Richards has since resigned.

Brennan was given a two-year suspension from the game.