Monday 23 October 2017

'Bloodgate' doctor fears career over

Kim Pilling in London

THE "Bloodgate" rugby matchday doctor told a fitness to practise panel yesterday that she would "deeply like" to return to medicine, but conceded it would be difficult to find work.

Dr Wendy Chapman said her name would forever be associated with her part in the scandal in which she cut the lip of a player to cover up his bogus injury.

Panel chairman Dr Brian Alderman ruled there was no evidence to say the intentional act of cutting was "pre-meditated".

He said: "The panel consider that, while Tom Williams was a professional player and part of the team and you were a team doctor, he was in fact your patient."

"As a doctor, your overriding care of duty was to the patient irrespective of the pressure you were feeling at the time. While your actions may have been intended to benefit or preserve Tom William's career they were not in the best interest of his health.

"You were there to treat his alleged injury, not to cause one."

Tom Williams's supposed injury meant a specialist goal kicker could come on for Harlequins in the dying minutes of last April's Heineken Cup quarter-final tie against Leinster, who won 6-5.

Appearing before the General Medical Council, Dr Chapman said that before "Bloodgate" she had been hoping to take a fuller role at the club.

She told the panel that although she had received support since from "various people" at Harlequins, it had been "made plain to her" she would never work for them again.

Yesterday, the panel sitting in Manchester found all the facts against her proved, apart from an allegation that she stated Williams had a loose tooth in order to deceive others that he had sustained an injury.

The hearing continues today.

Irish Independent

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