Fake Blood Used In Harlequins Rugby Club’s “Bloodgate” Scandal


Total Pro Sports – It is amazing how far some will go to help lead their team to victory.  While some would be willing to take a few punches in order to change the momentum, others have shown that they have no problem with cheating.  Look no further than Boston’s beloved franchises.

In England, the notion of cheating was taken to a whole new level.

It was all part of a plan put together by Harlequins’ director of rugby Dean Richards, and club physio Steph Brennan.  Richards ordered Brennan to purchase a pack of blood capsules from a Clapham joke shop.  The capsules were to be used by players in order to fake injuries during a Heineken Cup match against Leinster.

The player they used as their subject was Quins full-back Tom Williams, a young but promising player who obliged when asked to commit the act.

Willliams admits that when he was handed the fake blood capsule on the pitch by Brennan he put it in his sock and then pulled it out after a contact situation and tried to bite on it. The capsule fell out of his mouth, forcing him to pick it up and and try the whole process again in full view of the sold-out stadium and television cameras. [ThisIsLondon.co.uk]

When officials of Leinster began yelling that the blood was not real, Williams asked the club doctor Wendy Chapman to cut the inside of his lip with a scalpel.

The pantomime nature of the incident continued in the medical rooms under the stand with Williams and Dr Chapman initially having to avoid the gaze of doubting officials and find a room where they could cut his lip. A picture was taken of the cut which was neatly done and did not require any stitches.

In a hearing on the incident, Williams claimed that he was given a lucrative offer of compensation by club chairman Charles Jillings, and chief executive Mark Evans if he agreed to hide the complete details of the situation by making a “limited” appeal.  The offer included compensation for a 12-month ban, a new four-year contract, and an offer of employment with the team following his retirement.  This move was made in a effort to prevent the team from receiving a Heineken Cup ban and relegation.

Williams had refused such offers and has come forth with the complete details, which were uncovered during the hearing.  He was given a 4-month ban for his involvement in Bloodgate, while Richards has received a 3-year ban, Brennan got a 2-year ban, and the club was fined £259,000.

What may have initially seemed like a good idea for the Harlequins rugby club has turned into a costly one.  Next time Harlequins are looking for blood, they should consider just asking their players to bite his tongue during the game, rather than later on at the hearing.

Here is a video of Will Carling talking about “Bloodgate” which includes a clip of Williams spitting blood as he walks off during the match (19 second mark).

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Hat Tip – [ThisIsLondon.co.uk]

Tags: bloodgate, chapman joke shop, Dean Richards, England, fake blood capsule, harlequins, heineken cup, leinster, Rugby, Steph Brennan, tom williams,