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OS4 - Bloodgate Scandal

Sport: Other Sports Category: Oval Ball
Submitted by: Brian

Harlequins, from England, were playing Leinster, from Ireland, in the quarter final of the Heineken Cup, probably the biggest club rugby tournament in the world.  Harlequins' Nick Evans had already been substituted and the only way he could come back on the field was as a 'blood substitution'.  Harlequins were losing 5-6 with less than 5 minutes to play and needed a kicker, like Evans, on the field, to try to score 3 points with a penalty or drop goal.  Tom Williams mysteriously got a bloodied mouth, which allowed Harlequins to bring on Evans in his place.  As it turns out, Williams had used a vial of fake blood kept in his sock to create the illusion of a bleeding mouth and the club doctor cut his lip when examing him on the pitch before he came off, to add some real blood to the fake blood.  As he leaves the pitch, you can see Williams winking to his coach.  Brilliant!


The Rugby Football Union and the organisers of the tournament, European Rugby Cup, discovered that Harlequins and done something similar 4 times previously.  s Williams received a twelve-month ban (reduced to 4 months on appeal), Harlequins' Director of Rugby Dean Richards received a worldwide three-year ban, their physiotherapist Steph Brennan was handed a two-year ban and the club paid a £260,000 fine. The club chairman Charles Jillings subsequently tendered his resignation while the club doctor Wendy Chapman was suspended by the General Medical Council.  Evans attempted a drop goal in the last minute of the game but missed and Leinster held on to win the match and, ultimately, win the tournament.

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